PPP's new Arizona poll finds that John McCain has a negative approval rating with Republican primary voters, and is at pretty serious risk of losing nomination for another term. Only 35% of GOP voters approve of the job McCain is doing to 50% who disapprove. He's in particularly poor standing with conservative voters. Among 'somewhat conservative' voters his approval spread is 33/52, and among 'very conservative' voters it drops all the way down to 18/67.
McCain is polling at only 39% in the Republican primary field. He's benefiting from having multiple opponents. Kelli Ward is at 26%, Alex Meluskey at 4%, Scott McBean at 3%, and Clair Van Steenwyk at 2%. 27% are undecided. McCain is very strong among moderates, leading Ward 60-10. But among 'somewhat conservative' voters he leads just 34-29, and with 'very conservative' ones he's down 35-28. When you narrow the field down to just a choice between McCain and Ward, it's a tie at 41%. Ward is polling this competitively at this point despite having only 41% name recognition.
Even if McCain does manage to survive the Republican primary, it's not going to be a walk in the park for him in the general. His overall approval rating is 34/52, and he leads Ann Kirkpatrick only 42/36 in a head to head match up. The race is close despite Kirkpatrick having only 58% name recognition at this point. If Ward advances to the general election it looks like this contest will basically be a toss up- she gets 37% to 35% for Kirkpatrick so it's pretty much a wash.
You know I think the best part of this whole thing is that McCain did it to himself by bringing Palin to the national stage where she immediately energized the radical right which is now using conservative purity tests to force any potentially reasonable Republican out of office.
And believe it or not at one time John McCain was actually a very reasonable Republican.
Almost impossible to remember that fact these days.