You’ve gotta feel sorry for John McCain. For over two decades, he dreamed of being elected President. He decided that a workable strategy would be to gain media support that would make him an omnipresent feature on talk shows. He developed knowledge in foreign/veteran affairs and had an appetite for discussing these issues. On other issues (immigration, campaign finance, taxes, budgeting), his positions were such that his media allies viewed him favorably. But these stances were not in alignment with much of the Republican Party.

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He expected that he was next in line to win the nomination in 2000. However, because of his ‘mavericky’ positions, the party elite decided to support Bush. Finally, he got his opportunity in 2008. At the time of the primaries/caucuses, the projected predominant issue was the war against terror, where he was well equipped to contend. Also, most people thought his opponent would be his fellow traveler, Hillary Clinton.

Well, things worked out badly for him. Not only did HRC lose, meaning that the election wouldn’t be a contest between competing interest groups among best friends, but then the economy collapsed. McCain’s primary policy was to get rid of entitlements to reduce the deficit, and he made it difficult in the last month for his supporters to claim that he understood the problems facing the country. After his loss, he returned to the Senate, now upset with his media friends, and presents the visage of the crotchety old uncle sitting in his La-Z-Boy with a Bud, telling the kids to be quiet, because their music is too loud. As if his loss of the Presidency to a young whipper-snapper wasn’t humiliating enough, now he faces a bruising fight for re-nomination against a Tea Party/talk show opponent.

John McCain
Biography – McCain’s story is well known to most of us. Following graduation from the US Naval Academy, he served the nation as a naval aviator during the war in Vietnam. He was captured by the North Vietnamese and suffered years of torture by them. His is a remarkable story of heroism and duty during that period of his life. Following the war, he remained in the Navy for a number of years, then retired to run for a House seat. After two terms, he ran for the Senate, where he has remained to this day. He is married (to an incredibly attractive woman) with seven children.
Issues – The issues that McCain would like to emphasize in this campaign include:
Health Care Reform – He would like to secure greater access to quality health care by harnessing market forces without government involvement. He believes that the problems in health care are caused by inefficiencies, special interests, and lack of tort reform.
Education – McCain wants public schools to be improved. He believes that schools can be improved by making them more market-friendly and eliminating inefficiencies. He believes in school vouchers and wants the role of the federal government in education to be reduced.
Economy/Jobs – McCain opposed the Obama stimulus plan. Instead, he authored his own proposal that sought to reduce waste and inefficiencies in job creation. He wants to control federal spending and balance the federal budget.

J.D. Hayworth
Biography – Hayworth was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994. He remained in office until he lost a re-election bid in 2006 because, among other reasons, of his close ties to the Abramoff scandal. While serving in the House, Hayworth was consistently voted as one of the biggest windbags in the chamber. Since he has left, he has serendipitously been employed as a radio talk show host.
Issues – Hayworth’s basic theme is that the 10th Amendment, limiting federal rights, is the basis for determining how power should be allocated in our system.
Health Care – He argues that the federal role should be to create an environment where free market forces can shape themselves to meet the needs of consumers. He supports health savings accounts, tort reform, and permitting consumers to buy health insurance across state lines.
National Debt – Hayworth states that taxes should be cut and the federal budget should be balanced. He believes that the bailout plan was wrong.
Illegal Immigration – He states that he believes illegal immigration should be impeded through border security, law enforcement being required to protect citizens, and interior enforcement of laws.

A poll taken by Rasmussen last month has shown that McCain has a 22 point lead. This followed his endorsement by his running mate last year, Sarah Palin. Since then, he has also been endorsed by other national political leaders, including Mitt Romney and Steve Forbes.

Update 4/7/10:

Since our previous discussion, the landscape of this race has changed. Three weeks ago, in a poll by Rasmussen, McCain held a 53% – 31% lead when Sarah Palin endorsed her erstwhile running mate. The luster of that endorsement apparently faded, since the current Rasmussen poll showed the race tightening remarkably, reducing his lead to 48% – 41%. Thus, McCain called on Ms. Palin to barnstorm the state with him to try to build enthusiasm for his campaign. He has also induced other Republican notables to endorse him, including Scott Brown, the recently elected senator from Massachusetts.

Sarah Palin’s effect on the Arizona Senate race is not yet fully known. Early indications are that her endorsement and appearance will help McCain against Hayworth in the Arizona Senate Primary race. This site will keep you updated on this very fluid contest.

Senate Polls, Arizona, Republican Primary Race

Polling Date Polling Company John McCain (R) J.D. Hayworth (R)
7/21/2010 Rasmussen 54% 34%

7/11/2010 Behavior Research 64% 19%

6/22/2010 Magellan 52% 29%

6/16/2010 Rasmussen 47% 36%

5/18/2010 Rasmussen 52% 40%

5/6/2010 Daily Kos 48% 36%

4/29/2010 PPP 46% 35%

4/28/2010 Behavior Research 54% 28%

4/16/2010 Rasmussen 47% 42%

3/18/2010 Rasmussen 48% 41%

1/20/2010 Rasmussen 53% 31%

11/20/2009 Rasmussen 45% 43%

Senate Polls, Arizona, General Election Match-ups

Polling Date Polling Company John McCain (R) J.D. Hayworth (R) Glassman (D)
8/3/10 Rasmussen 53% - 34%

5/18/10 Rasmussen 57% - 28%

5/18/10 Rasmussen - 49% 33%

5/6/10 Daily Kos 48% - 35%

4/28/10 PPP 49% - 33%

4/28/10 Behavior Research 46% - 24%