A new poll suggests that the state’s senior senator has pretty much worn out his welcome in Arizona, at least as far as representing them in Washington.
The statewide survey shows John McCain’s popularity has dropped to the lowest level since Behavior Research Center began asking about him in 2002. At this point only 26 percent of the 700 adult heads of household questioned earlier this month rate his performance as excellent or good.
Conversely, 36 percent say he is doing a poor or very poor job in office, also a record number. In fact, this is the first time the survey has showed McCain with a net negative.
But this isn’t just a question of whether Arizonans like McCain and the direction he has taken in the last year when his positive numbers still exceeded his negatives.
Only 21 percent now say he deserves another term -- if he wants one -- in 2016, though clearly a lot could change between now and then.
And it’s not just Democrats talking here. Jim Haynes, president of the Behavior Research Center found that 61 percent of Republicans think it’s time for someone else.
He also appears to have alienated across the philosophical spectrum, with two thirds or more of self-identified liberals, moderates and conservatives wanting another choice.
McCain press aide Brian Rogers said the senator had no comment, saying his boss “doesn’t pay much attention to the polls, whether they’re up or down.”
The new unpopularity comes as McCain, along with fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, have taken lead roles in a bid to craft a new bipartisan immigration plan. While the nearly 900-page measure was not formally unveiled until after the survey was completed, substantial details already had become public.
Haynes said none of that apparently has softened the senator’s image among Democrats. And he is not doing himself any favors with his own party.
“Some percentage of Republicans view him negatively because he’s ‘playing house’ too much with the Democrats,” Haynes said.
That showed up in a separate survey earlier this week with the same group of voters was asked about Gov. Jan Brewer.
She has been outspoken in her belief that any deal now would simply amount to the same kind of “amnesty” that occurred when the last comprehensive immigration reform proposal was adopted during the Reagan administration.
While her overall statewide ratings had slipped a bit in the last year, she retained the backing of 55 percent of Republicans.
But Haynes said there may be something else at work: a general disgust with the public at Congress.
“I don’t think anybody likes anybody right now,” he said.
The telephonic survey, which also includes 438 registered voters, has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
April 2013 survey on John McCain’s performance:
What kind of a job is the senator doing:
• Excellent or good — 26%
• Fair — 27%
• Poor or very poor — 36%
Do you think Sen. McCain should get another six-year term or is it time for someone else:
• Another term — 21%
• Prefer a new senator — 67%
• Not sure — 12%
— Source: Behavior Research Center