Could John McCain Lose Reelection in 2010?

A poll shows him barely ahead in the Republican Senate primary

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Senator John McCain could have trouble ahead in his 2010 reelection campaign. A Rasmussen poll matching up McCain to possible GOP primary challenger J.D. Hayworth has McCain with only 45% and Hayworth 43%. That's not much of a lead for a man with over 20 years in the Senate and the winner of his party's last presidential nomination. It's still early, but how seriously should McCain be taking the possibility of defeat in 2010?

  • Palin Will Save McCain  The Weekly Standard's William Kristol predicts. "I predict that Palin will come to Arizona next summer to campaign for McCain, will make an impassioned case for him, and will help him win. She will thereby repay McCain for his confidence in picking her last year, help keep McCain as a crucial voice in the Senate for a strong foreign policy, and get credit for being a different kind of populist conservative"
  • McCain Will Drive Right  Matthew Yglesias shakes his head. "This seems like pretty much terrible news for the world. The most likely path between Point A and Senate passage of a reasonable climate bill is for McCain to rediscover his interest in the issue. But that’s not the sort of thing a Senator worried about a right-wing primary challenge is likely to do." He quotes a Politico story that McCain may drop his support for climate legislationg. "The article says that '[f]ormer aides are mystified by what they see as a retreat on the issue, given McCain’s long history of leadership on climate legislation' but I don't find it surprising at all."
  • Immigration Could End McCain  The Washington Independent's David Weigel thinks McCain should worry. "It’s a surprising poll because only 24 percent of state Republicans have a negative view of McCain. He’s suffering from a backlash against everyone currently in Washington. And it’s been two years since McCain broke with the GOP base and backed comprehensive immigration reform. If that comes up again in 2010, as many expect it to, McCain could face real problems with Arizona voters."
  • Good Riddance  The American Conservative's Daniel Larison can't bring himself to care and him or Sarah Palin. "If [Palin] is supposed to represent some great right-populist hope, [McCain] is the deal-brokering, bipartisan “moderate” Beltway denizen who assiduously cultivates the media, but the reality is that he chose her partly because she reminded him of his own combative, arrogant, egocentric style and his habit of breaking party ranks to aggrandize himself.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.