A video treat from Matt Lewis, who has a fuller transcript of Hayworth’s remarks than what appears in the clip. With the polls set to open in 48 hours, any hope for J.D.? Well, sort of: It’s been more than a month since the last major poll of the race was taken, so in theory there might have been some movement in his direction since then. In practice, though, given the trendlines as of late July … not so much. In fact, as of two weeks ago, Arizona Dems had already resigned themselves to a mavericky general election this year:
Democratic contenders and other observers say they believe that McCain has turned off too many voters by shifting hard to the right in his fight against Hayworth and by taking inconsistent positions on immigration and other issues.
“McCain will be difficult, but he is so vulnerable, in my opinion, that any Democrat who has some resources will have an opportunity to peel him open, as we say,” said former three-term Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., who served in the Senate with McCain from 1987 to 1995 and is backing Glassman this year. “Hayworth has tried to do that, but Hayworth’s problem is he’s got such high negatives that it doesn’t do any good. If it’s Glassman or Eden or Dougherty or Parraz, they’re new faces and new people who don’t have lengthy records to defend. And people want change.”…
“We had Democrats who say, ‘I used to love John McCain’ – their words, not mine – ‘but I will not vote for him again,’ ” said Parraz, recalling comments he heard while gathering the petition signatures necessary to get on the ballot. “One guy who used to work for John McCain said he doesn’t know who he is now.”
That’s lovely spin, but (a) if there’s any state in America this year where tacking right is all upside and no downside, it’s Arizona, and (b) Democrats would have much, much preferred to face Hayworth in the general. Per Rasmussen’s poll last month, Democrat Rodney Glassman trails Maverick 53/34 but leads Hayworth 43/38. So there’s your consolation, McCain-haters: If J.D. did pull the upset in the primary, there’s a fair chance that this seat would turn blue and destroy the GOP’s already slim chance of retaking the Senate.
The only question now: Will McCain resort to his mavericky ways before the general to woo indies or would the sudden reemergence of McCain v1.0 be too risky with tea partiers already disgruntled and apt to stay home in November? Exit quotation from former McCain aide John Weaver: “The very thought of retiring and allowing a big government clown taking his place in the Senate is probably something he couldn’t get his head around… There was no way that at the end of the day J.D. Hayworth was going to defeat John McCain. Maybe more effort should’ve been made by others to convince J.D. not to run, because it was an unnecessary exercise for both of them, but probably cathartic for John.”