Thursday, April 29, 2010

McCain holds tenuous lead

Republican primary voters in Arizona are down on John McCain, with a majority of them thinking he's too lenient on immigration and a plurality feeling that he's too liberal in general. But his saving grace may be that the candidate trying to exploit those weaknesses is J.D. Hayworth, who begins the race with high negatives. As a result McCain leads with 46% to 35% for Hayworth and 7% for Jim Deakin.

Hayworth actually leads McCain 46-38 with conservative voters. But McCain's 60-15 advantage with moderates is so overwhelming that it allows him the double digit lead.

McCain's overall numbers with primary voters are nothing to write home about. 45% disapprove of his job performance to 44% who approve. 43% think he's too liberal to 38% who think he's about right. 53% think he's too lenient on immigration to 32% who think he's about right.

But conservative voters in particular are down on him on all of those fronts right now. 46% of them disapprove of him with only 41% approving. 59% of them think he's too liberal to 30% who think he's about right. And 67% of them think his views on immigration are too lenient to only 26% who think they're about right.

For all that McCain still has to be seen as the favorite in the race. 40% of GOP primary voters have an unfavorable opinion of Hayworth to 37% with a favorable one. With moderates in the party his favorability is a putrid 13/59 spread, which explains why he trailed Rodney Glassman in our general election polling yesterday. Voters beyond the far right just don't find him very palatable.

This is certainly a race to keep an eye on and McCain's situation strongly resembles where Charlie Crist was about 4-5 months ago before he completely collapsed in the Republican primary. The difference may be Marco Rubio vs. J.D. Hayworth though. Rubio started as a relative unknown to GOP voters in Florida and was able to build a positive image of himself to capitalize on the increasing discomfort with Crist. Hayworth starts out as well known but not well liked and voters who don't like him or McCain give the incumbent a 17 point advantage, seeing him as the lesser of two evils. Unless Hayworth can change voters' existing feelings about him McCain will probably survive.

Full results here

4 comments:

Dave said...

I think that if the primary were Tuesday McCain would have it, but he's got four months to go. Ask Charlie how long that is.

Surprisingly McCain is strongest with Republicans 18-29, mostly because they dislike Heyworth so much. McCain can't count on them for the primary, so he'd better get seniors out in force.

Heyworth leads McCain with Hispanics, which I find surprising, as he's so strong against illegal immigration while McCain is/used to be an advocate for a guest worker program.

Christian Liberty said...

It's no surprise that hispanics who are likely voters (legal citizens knowledgeable about American government) are supportive of immigration enforcement and the Republican party. Enforcing the law and securing the border is most helpful to those most vulnerable to crime. Hispanics, for example, may have the most to gain from Arizona's enforcement law and have the most reason to support Republicans for upholding the law.

JennsR said...

hahaha dave...you cannot even spell your boys name right! It is better if you just call him the BLOWHARD JD. That is all he has ever been known for...ok, well maybe unintelligent, boozer or big spender/earmarker? Take your pick, just not worthy in my eyes, he lost my respect and vote when he lost his seat to Mitchell (dem) He failed big time, there are no second chances, not in these times.

Carly said...

Glad the polls agree with the people. Though these newfangled numbers are probably going to be something Hayworth will have a hard time interpreting, and I'm sure he'll find a way to make them seem like they're in his favor (which very little is across the board). It's too bad there hasn't been any recent tragedies for Hayworth to exploit lately. Poor Hayworth.

 
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