McCain Leads Big; If Hayworth Loses, He'll Back McCain

Conservative talk-show host and former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth launched a bid for John McCain's Senate seat that was seen as not only dangerous to McCain, but emblematic of a GOP election landscape in which "mainstream" candidates could face serious challenges from right-wingers, causing some division within the GOP's ranks. But both McCain and nervous Republicans got good news today: McCain leads Hayworth by 22 points according to a new Rasmussen poll (53% to 31% among GOP respondents), and Hayworth, appearing on MSNBC, said he would back McCain in the general election if he loses the primary.

"I am going to support the Republican nominee," Hayworth said. "I fully expect to be that nominee.

McCain and centrist Arizona Republicans can breathe easy.