Sunday, May 09, 2010

Poll Thickens Plot

An interesting Arizona poll this week shows Senator John McCain soundly trouncing challenger JD Hayworth in the August primary. In spite of McCain's making confusing statements ("A maverick, moi?") and looking 400 years old, the poll supports conventional wisdom that McCain's name recognition and incumbency provide huge resiliency. Apparently the decades and decades of time in office give McCain an edge Hayworth has yet to erase. Tick tock.

More interesting is what the poll suggests about a general election contest between former Tucson Councilman Rodney Glassman and Hayworth. Not surprisingly, against McCain Glassman faces the virtually impossible. However, against Hayworth the name recognition gap is much smaller, and I would not underestimate Glassman's ability to address this should Hayworth win the nomination. Showing Glassman and Hayworth in a virtual dead heat if they face each other, the poll points to a very real possibility of a NY CD-23 result. The hard right will cheer and howl in August over the ouster of a GOP establishment candidate. Then after the general election an established red seat has turned blue. AZ Republicans have an August dilemma here. Is a Hayworth vote in August a Glassman vote in November?

Quite possibly. I don't think the GOP nor its Tea component fully grasp what they have done in terms of the minority vote. In a McCain/Glassman general election Hispanics were 10% for McCain vs. 58% Glassman. African Americans were 3% and 67%. In a Hayworth/Glassman general election Hispanics were 6% for Hayworth and 60% for Glassman, with African Americans at 2% and 65%. By demonizing Obama with shrill hysteria if not outright hatred, Republicans have all but abandoned the African American vote. Now, the racist rhetoric seen at tea gatherings and the Arizona immigration fiasco have riled up Latinos. Arizona's minority population now exceeds 42% (African Americans-5%, Native Americans-5%, Asians-2.5%, and Latinos now surpassing 30%) with whites at 57.5%.

Utah ousted GOP establishment Senator Robert Bennett Saturday. In my neck of the woods, Rand Paul is looking strong against establishment candidate (and Mitch McConnell endorsed) Trey Grayson. Still, in several cases establishment candidates have held off tea challengers, which I think McCain will manage to do. However, if McCain continues to make embarrassing moves attempting to display a present profile different from his past profile, if McCain slips to Hayworth, we may have a reprise of NY CD-23 where a GOP shift right hands the Democrats a seat that has been Republican for over four decades.

Now wouldn't that be something?



Blogger Liza said...

The Arizona poll is interesting.

I have to believe that McCain will win the Republican primary. No matter how much his popularity fluctuates among Arizona Republicans, they surely understand that he is their sure bet. Despite his being a geriatric geezer who doesn't recall much of anything he once stood for, all that matters is how he votes. And he can be counted on to be the garden variety GOP obstructionist and vote against President Obama and the Democrats 100% of the time. That is really all that the GOP needs him for at this point. The AZ Republicans have nothing to gain by supporting Hayworth and everything to lose.

Personally, I would love for Hayworth to win the GOP primary. That would level the playing field significantly and give the Democrats a real shot at winning one of the seats in the Senate.

Otherwise, I'm afraid McCain is headed toward being Arizona's Strom Thurmond.

5/09/2010 4:02 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Good post, x4mr, and as usual I agree with you Liza. McCain is going to win despite the screaming Tea. x4mr says it well in saying the race is McCain's to lose. He only loses if he just goes berserk, and disowning the maverick image is a good start.

Glassman cannot beat McCain, but I agree that he can beat Hayworth.

Republicans / Tea Party are playing a very dangerous game moving to the right. New York's 23 is very relevant. Tea bit what's her name, and the seat went to a Democrat. Utah just got rid of a three term senator. Granted, it's Utah, but I don't know.

If I were a Republican looking at those racial numbers and demographics, I would be mortified. Both Blacks and Latinos are in single digits ( in one case 2 percent!!) for the Republican in this race, and they are 35% of the population. Is this not a prescription for disaster?

5/09/2010 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

I tend to agree with the three of you, except that if you examine the trends, McCain has been steadily dropping for months. In politics, August is a long way off and if the trend continues, he can really lose.

That would be great. Glassman is playing a smart card. If it's McCain, he'll lose, but the exposure will be huge. If it's Hayworth, he has a great shot.

Glassman trouncing Hayworth would have me smiling for months. Nothing would be finer than to see the Tea crowd triumph in the primaries and then get creamed in the general elections. Here's hoping.

5/10/2010 6:38 PM  

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