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Election 2010: Arizona Senate

McCain's popularity slipping, but still leads Senate poll

78% have no opinion of Glassman

Sen. John McCain's popularity has fallen dramatically, with 55 percent of Arizona voters disapproving, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.

Just 34 percent give the Republican Senator good marks, says the pollster. Former Tucson city councilman Rodney Glassman remains an unknown to most voters; 78 percent had no opinion of him.

Says PPP:

When PPP polled Arizona in September he was at a positive 48/42 approval spread, so he's dropped 27 points on the margin since that time. McCain's biggest fall in popularity has come with Republicans as he's been more aggressively challenged from the right by J.D. Hayworth. Where 65% gave him good marks last fall now just 48% do, a 17 point decline. He's also gone down 13 points with independents (from 41% to 28%) and 11 points with Democrats (from 32% to 21%.)

McCain has tried to shed his 'maverick' image in order to survive the Republican primary and the numbers indicate that's working, but at the cost of diminished support from Democrats and independents. Just 28% of voters feel that McCain is an 'independent voice for Arizona' while 55% are more inclined to describe him as a 'partisan voice for national Republicans.'

But those bad numbers for McCain don't necessarily bode well for Democratic Senate candidate Rodney Glassman (or Randy Parraza, who jumped into the race this week).

McCain leads Glassman 49 percent to 33 percent, says PPP.

The reason for the disconnect between McCain's approval rating and his support for reelection is that while only 48% of Republicans express approval of his job performance, 78% will still vote for him in a general election.

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Democrats' only real shot at winning the seat then is if Hayworth can win the primary, and we find Glassman leading Hayworth 42-39 in such a scenario. Hayworth is extremely unpopular with only 23% of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 50% with an unfavorable one.

These numbers have very little to do with Glassman at this point, as 78% of voters have no opinion of him.

McCain's "constituents now view Obama’s job performance more favorably than they do that of their longtime senator. 45% of Arizona voters like the job Obama is doing, to 51% who disapprove. While that may seem bad, only 34% approve of how McCain is handling his job to 55% who do not. Republicans only barely approve, 48-39, with independents down at 28-58," said PPP.

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Public Policy Polling: Arizona Senate poll