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Sunday, October 23, 2016

During his speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee on Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a jab at Republicans he perceives to be too moderate. “Of course, all of us remember President [Bob] Dole, President [John] McCain, President [Mitt] Romney,” Cruz said, adding: “Those are good men, those are decent men — but when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.”

Cruz may have been on to something.

The latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows that Senator McCain is deeply unpopular in his home state. Just 30 percent of Arizonans approve of the job he’s doing, while 54 percent disapprove, making him the least popular senator currently in Congress, according to the liberal-leaning pollster.

The poll shows McCain’s approval rating among his Republican base is consistent with the low numbers he’s earning across the state as a whole — 35 percent of Arizona Republicans disapprove of his job performance, while 55 percent approve.

And, to push his popularity even further into the tank, just 29 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Independents in Arizona approve of the job he’s been doing as senator.

Furthermore, McCain, who has said he is considering a re-election bid in 2016, is trailing potential Democratic opponents. Richard Carmona, 2012’s Democratic nominee, leads the incumbent senator 41 percent to 35 percent, while former congresswoman Gabby Giffords bests him by 42 percent to 35 percent.

The results perhaps point to why McCain continues to sink in the polls. Liberal policies that are popular across the country are also popular in Arizona — 67 percent of Arizona voters back marijuana legalization; and 53 percent of voters back a raise in the minimum wage.

But, as liberal policies continue to gain traction in Arizona and across the country, Republicans in the state move farther to the right. In a hypothetical Arizona Republican primary election, perceived moderates such as Chris Christie (R-NJ) trail Tea Party favorites like Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). In fact, the poll shows Cruz is leading a hypothetical Republican primary, with Paul a close second.

So if McCain wants to pick up some popularity points from party members in his home state, maybe he should take a page from Cruz’s playbook.

Photo: Jason Kosena via Flickr

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  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Yes. Pick a page from Cruz. Become an obstructionist who would rather see the Government default on its payments and bills that to govern. Denounce the President as foreign born (oh, wait, both Cruz and McCain are born outside of US Territory). And make sure you hold a gun over your head while doing so! Preferably a reproduction of a muzzle loader.

    • Dominick Vila

      In McCain’s defense, at least he was born in the Panama Canal Zone when it was U.S. territory, and while his Dad, a Navy Admiral, was serving at that location. In addition to Ted Cruz being born in Canada, his Dad was born in Cuba and was a supporter of Fidel Castro, until he decided there was more money to be made in North America.
      The cynicism of those who support Cruz’s bid for the presidency because his Mom was born in the USA, while questioning President Obama’s eligibility to be president, presumably because his Mom was born in Kansas instead of the Northeast, will never cease to amaze me.

  • Dominick Vila

    The best thing Sen. McCain can do at this point is to announce his retirement and do so with a modicum of dignity. The truth is that while the Republican establishment is trying to project an image of moderation, the rank and file is as far to the right as ever. Most “moderate” Republican incumbents are likely to be replaced during nomination processes by Tea Party candidates whose opinions and vision are consistent with those of their constituents.
    One of the most fascinating facets of Republican opinion for me is their willingness to accept foreign born candidates, while demonizing a man born in Hawaii.

    • Joseph Kelsall

      Dignity and McCain are strange bedfellows.

    • mikem42

      John McCain is an unhappy man in an unhappy marriage and an unhappy political party. He was a jet plane wrecker in the Navy, a womanizer, a drunken sailor in other words, and yet we are supposed to treat him as a war hero and military expert. He is neither. He loves the t.v. camera and hates just about everything else.

  • rhallnj

    To be fair to him, he is unpopular among people who are basically insane-the citizens of weird Arizona.

  • Joseph Kelsall

    His Vietnamese rescuer should have left him in the lake!