Rasmussen: McCain 47%, Hayworth 36%

The good news for J. D. Hayworth?  He has two months to make up an 11-point deficit in the polling for Arizona’s US Senate primary.  The bad news?  At the rate he’s gaining on John McCain, he’ll catch up by May of next year:

Longtime Senator John McCain continues to lead Arizona’s Republican Primary by double digits but remains in the same narrow range of support he’s drawn since January.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters in the state Voters shows McCain picking up 47% support, while challenger J.D.Hayworth earns the vote from 36%. Navy veteran and Tea Party activist Jim Deakin picks up seven percent (7%) support. One percent (1%) like another candidate in the race, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

Actually, Hayworth gets a little more good news from Rasmussen in this latest survey.  McCain has dropped below 50%, losing five points of support from Republicans.  Any time an incumbent falls below 50%, he or she is vulnerable.  McCain gets a boost, though, from a third-party challenge from Deakin, who may get most of his support at the expense of Hayworth.  Hayworth himself lost four points from the previous Rasmussen poll, which shows that he’s unable to take advantage of the loss of support McCain has experienced.

Hayworth has other disadvantages in this race.  While his favorability remains in positive territory at a +6 (51/45), McCain far outstrips him on that score with a +39, 69/30.  Hayworth barely edges McCain among men, 45/43, but McCain nearly doubles up among women, 52/28.  McCain also wins every age demographic, although very narrowly with voters under the age of 50.  He also wins all of the income demographics, again narrowly among most of them, and manages to split conservatives 42/43 with Hayworth while winning handily among self-described Republican moderates (71/11) and liberals (50/19).  That indicates that McCain may have successfully defined Hayworth as an extremist among the Republican base in Arizona.

In other news, McCain criticized General Stanley McChrystal’s comments in Rolling Stone as “inappropriate,” but declined to take a position on whether Barack Obama should fire McChrystal:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), along with 2 colleagues, says comments attributed to Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a new story in Rolling Stone are “inappropriate” and cross a line in the traditional relationship between a president and the military.

“We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation. General McChrystal’s comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military,” McCain said in a joint statement with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). …

But while some have likened McChrystal’s comments to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Korean War general fired by Pres. Harry Truman, McCain, Lieberman and Graham stopped short of calling on McChrystal to step down or be fired.

“The decision concerning General McChrystal’s future is a decision to be made by the President of the United States,” the 3 said in the joint statement.

Of the three, only McCain’s name came up in the article, in which McChrystal criticized McCain for his comments about Hamid Karzai.

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