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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Public Policy Polling may say that John McCain is the least popular senator in America, but the Arizona Republican isn’t buying it.

Last week, PPP released a poll finding that just 30 percent of Arizonans approve of the job that Senator McCain is doing, while 54 percent disapprove. That makes him the least popular member of the Senate, according to PPP.

During a Monday appearance on Fox Business’ Cavuto, McCain pushed back against the numbers.

“There is a bogus poll out there,” McCain said. “I can sense the people of my state. When I travel around, which I do constantly, they like me, and I am very grateful.”

If McCain’s confidence in his ability to “sense” his true popularity reminds you of Republicans who were certain that 2012 polls were wrong, and that Mitt Romney would cruise to victory in the presidential election, you aren’t alone. Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen responded to McCain’s attack against his poll by reminding the fifth-term senator of the dangers of poll trutherism.

“We’ve used the same methodology to measure the approval ratings of more than 85 senators in their home states, and Senator McCain has the worst approval numbers of any of them,” Jensen told Talking Points Memo. “That’s because he’s unpopular within his own party and unlike other Republican senators who have a reputation for working across party lines — the Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowskis of the world — he hasn’t earned much popularity with Democrats either.”

“I think we saw in 2012 what happens when Republicans try to just dismiss and ignore poll findings that they don’t like,” he added.

Were Jensen feeling boastful, he could also have noted that a Fordham University analysis found PPP to be the most accurate predictor of the 2012 election.

During his interview with Cavuto, McCain also took a moment to address his political future. Although he said that he is “seriously considering” running for Senate again in 2016, he reiterated that he has no interest in another presidential bid.

“I’m afraid that it is not a viable option,” he said.

McCain has shut down previous inquiries about his presidential ambitions by colorfully quoting the late Rep. Morris Udall: “The people have spoken — the bastards.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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