Why and how John McCain could lose the General Election

Earlier this year, I asserted that Democrats would have a tough time winning in any General Election in 2010. I’m not so sure that will be the case if John McCain wins the Primary Election on August 24th.

Throughout the Republican Primary in Arizona, John McCain has had willing accomplices in the local media. Every step of the way, local and national reporters have given him a free pass having virtually ignored his sudden changes in positions nor questioning his motives for such newly adopted positions. At times, it even appears as if both Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic and James King of the Phoenix New Times have been in competition over who might succeed as McCain’s next press secretary. Each “reporter” has had a direct pipeline to McCain’s Director of Communications, Brian Rogers who once served as the Director of Research for Al Gore’s Climate Initiative Project.

Even more disturbing has been the media’s profound and overt bias against JD Hayworth. Every assertion and attack by Team McCain against JD Hayworth has remained unquestioned and assumed true.

Despite the media’s apparent “love affair” with John McCain, their may be a more sinister motive at play after the Primary Election. Could media coverage of the Republican Primary actually be part of an underhanded effort to nominate McCain because he will be a weakened and more vulnerable candidate against the Democratic nominee in the General Election?

Before you rule out this hypothesis, consider the factors at play.

Over John McCain’s entire 28 years of service, Democrats have far more damning evidence available and at their disposal to be used in a General Election. One only needs to review the many websites and blogs Democrats created in 2007-2008 archiving and detailing John McCain’s long history of gaffes, unflattering video and now flip-flops. The Democratic National Committee may even see another effort to defeat John McCain as another top trophy on the wall.

Conservative Republicans and TEA Party members are furious with John McCain over his sudden untrustworthy “conservative conversion.” He is viewed as the Republican version of John Kerry with his endless list of election year flip-flops. There is also anger by fellow conservatives and Independent voters over his endless relentless attacks on fellow Republican JD Hayworth. It is very rare that an incumbent US Senator spends $20 Million against a challenger in a Primary Election. But what really infuriates conservatives is the fabrication of lies and the blatant name-calling by Senator John McCain. It was a shock to the conservative faithful when John McCain on television called JD Hayworth a “pig.” This will not be forgotten anytime before November 2nd.

If John McCain is renominated as the Republican candidate on August 24th, conservatives and TEA Party members will likely not vote for him. He has already lost his base of support with conservatives and Independent voters are turned off by his unstatesmanlike behavior.

And Democrats are hopeful just as they were in 2008, that John McCain will once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He’s old, tired, uninspiring and they believe they may even be able to pull off another upset as Republicans will remain disgusted and divided over their nominee.

Conservative Republicans simply won’t care if John McCain wins or loses. They know what they’ll get in the end and there will be little differentiation between the Democrat and John McCain. And unfortunately, this time, John McCain won’t have Sarah Palin to bail him out.


  1. Now to reality….

    Polling Data
    Poll Date Sample McCain (R) Hayworth (R) Spread

    RCP Average 6/22 – 7/21 — 56.7 27.3
    McCain +29.4

    Rasmussen Reports 7/21 – 7/21 595 LV 54 34 McCain +20

    Behavior Research Center 6/30 – 7/11 LV 64 19
    McCain +45

    Magellan Strategies (R) 6/22 – 6/22 1139 LV 52 29
    McCain +23

  2. Now for historical reality:

    President Barack Obama
    February 11, 2008

  3. DSW – this is exactly why I’m voting for JD & will never vote for McCain. Because once again IF he wins the primary we will have NO CHOICE – once again 2 Dems will be on the ballot.

  4. So you’re finally admitting that Hayworth will lose the Primary. McCain will also go on to win the General, regardless of the lies and misinformation you spread.

    You can still apply as a pizza delivery driver.

  5. Let’s see…a February prediction with an election 9 months later. Made after a primary season that revealed the media buy-in and sell-out for Obama.

    Or…repeated months of polls showing McCain gaining a huge lead with the election in 1 week.

    As reported in today’s Capitol Times…
    “the race is effectively over”.

  6. LOL! The reality is the reverse. All the “dirt” on McCain is old news. He ran for President and has been scrutinized already. Everything that could be used against McCain is already known to the voters and he still outpolls the Democrats. Dredging up old attacks won’t work. And while he may have lost to Obama overall, he won Arizona in 2008 (unlike JD, he’s never lost in Arizona).

    JD is the untested, unvettted candidate who puts the Senate seat at risk. Some polls (such as the Rasmussen poll previously touted as near gospel by the Hayworth campaign) already show him behind Democrat Rodney Glassman. And who knows how many previously unknown “Free Money From The Government” moments lie ahead where JD will be forced to reluctantly admit yet again that “he made some mistakes”?

    JD is the risky choice. He lost a safe Republican seat before. And the polls show that he might lose another one.

  7. If John McCain wins, I won’t be voting for him in the general. I’ll go with the Independent candidate before I voter for that assclown McCain!

  8. As a long-time conservative Republican, I support JD and oppose Johnny Come Lately McCain. I hope and pray Arizona Republicans (and Independents) vote out the maverick flip-flopper. If not, I will not vote for McCain in November. Instead I will vote for the independent, Ian Gilyeat. I know the pragmatists in the Republican Party like KFYI’s Barry Young and Michelle Larson think this is sacrilege, but I refuse to vote for someone I simply cannot trust, regardless of the political consequences. America will survive without McCain in DC.

  9. I brought this up months ago and everyone brushed it off… I think there is a very real concern for Brewer and McCain that the conservatives in AZ will be turned off by them and either stay home or vote for someone else.

    I wont be surprised if McCain wins the primary (especially if its at all close with JD) that his poll numbers drop below 50% which is dangerous for an incumbent

  10. Hey Johnny…have you checked the polls lately?

    JD has a higher disapproval numbers than he does approval. He is dropping fast in voter numbers, too. More people DO NOT LIKE HIM than do!

    Arizona voters un-elected him before, they will not elect him this time, either.

  11. Ann,

    You didnt address what I actually said, my comment wasnt discussing how JD might have high disapproval ratings overall. But there is no indication and people dont say that if JD wins I’m not voting for him in the general no matter what. But that does seem to be the case with McCain, a lot of people who support JD, dont consider McCain even an option

    So I just dont see Arizona conservatives coming together around McCain. I think many might stay home in disgust or not help at all which will hurt races down ticket…

  12. How sad that two years after being the Presidential nominee for his party, John McCain has to out spend his primary opponent 10 to 1 to barely hang on to his seat. What a black eye on the “McCain legacy”.

  13. So I just don’t see Arizona conservatives coming together around McCain. I think many might stay home in disgust or not help at all which will hurt races down ticket…


    I agree with you that they will not come together around McCain. But the level of disgust is so high against Washington and this administration, I believe that people will come out and vote. I just don’t think that if McCain wins the primary, that people will vote for him in the general. I know I won’t.

  14. Doris, you’re right on. Being disappointed with McCain is not going to keep many from voting–he’s just not that important for us to negate our vote for others. Conservatives, Republicans and Independents, will come be out in force in November to get rid of these socialists and limp-noodle-spined politicians in DC and AZ.

  15. I feel like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. What happened to my Republican party – the party of personal responsibility?

    Nowadays, if a candidate is doing poorly or suffers a setback, no matter how minor, it’s blamed on a vast conspiracy of people, places, and things out to get them.

    Shane takes a page right out of Andrew Thomas’ book with this post. The reason for JD Hayworth’s failure couldn’t possibly be because he’s a terrible candidate who 1) couldn’t raise enough money to compete against a man we all knew going in had millions, 2) lost a safe Republican seat, 3) appeared in a cheesy infomercial then put his foot in mouth defending it, and 4) just plain didn’t connect with voters (aside from the political junkies who visit SA).

    Naw, it must be an evil cabal of liberal boogeymen in the media and in the party, lying in wait like modern day manchurian candidates.

    At least have the strength of character to admit that, while you had the right message, you backed the wrong messenger.

  16. Should John McCain win in August, I WILL NOT be voting for him in November. I will write in JD Hayworth. More than that, I am considering whether or not to join a campaign to defeat him in November. Under no circumstance do I want John McCain in office–Arizona or federal. His conduct as an elected officer has been shameful.

    Some may think it’s unwise to let a Democrat win in November, but John McCain is a Democrat! Even if John McCain dies before the end of his term, his replacement gets picked by a McCain ally or a registered Democrat. No matter how you slice it, John McCain is a lose-lose scenario for Arizona conservatives.

  17. It is much easier for moderate Republicans to vote for a more conservative candidate than it is conservative Republicans to vote for a moderate Republican candidate.

    John McCain has so poisoned the well, scorched the earth, etc. for conservatives in Arizona, that they will probably leave that spot blank or vote for the Independent in the General.

    JJ, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about because you’re not up and close to any of the campaigns. When a candidate has $20 Million to spread lies and falsehoods across the airwaves, it’s very hard to compete against that type of money. Mr. Campaign Finance Reform has gone against his core “beliefs” in this regard.

    The General Election will be harder than John McCain thinks. He’s lost the base of conservatives.

    But there’s still time to send a message to Washington DC and the Obama Administration. Sending someone like JD Hayworth will stop the pattern of McCain-[Democrat] legislative abuses that have happened over time.

  18. RNC cahir is comming to Tucson to preach party unity. Too little to late…..
    As always Republicans eat their own as McCain has done many times.
    Just today McCain flipped flopped once more this time talking against the possiblity of reviewing the 14th amendment.
    Hey what happened to the 10 point secure the border plan???? He thinks the people of Arzona are real suckers.

  19. CharlotteW says:

    There are many with the Tea Parties saying they will not vote McCain under any circumstances. We know what we are getting with a Democrat, with McCain you enver know what he will stab you in the back for. If McCain wins the primary I will not vote for him ever.

  20. After watching the debates while away at Fort Polk (they were televised on C-SPAN), I noticed a few things that were disturbing to me personally. I’ve met and talked to all the candidates running and having been one myself, I understand how you only get to see one side of a candidate when you’re at an event with that one candidate.

    I wanted to be objective when casting my vote in the primary for US Senate and give everybody a fair shake. After watching those debates, a few things really stood out to me that helped me make my decision.

    1. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but age is a factor for me. John McCain has been through a lot, God bless his service and his ordeal as a POW. I really respect what he endured for this nation. But he has really aged over the last couple of years and it’s showing. I’ve met him and spoken to him on a couple of occasions and I cannot ignore my first instinct that tells me he is just tired. You know what Lombardi said, “fatigue makes cowards of us all”. Not that McCain is a coward, I just think he is starting to wear down and that can impair judgment.

    2. Most disturbing to me, and I don’t know if any of you feel this way, what came across to me during these debates is John McCain feels it is up to government to solve everything. When he says “we”, he doesn’t mean you and I. He means his colleagues in Washington and that bothers me a great deal. I don’t and will not believe for one second that government is the answer for what ails us. Government getting out of our way, yeah. But more government solutions introduces more government created problems. I think we’ve all had quite enough of that.

    3. Having a temper is fine by me. There is no reason to look at what government has done and NOT get angry. But McCain began character assassination of Hayworth BEFORE JD even officially entered the race. I wish McCain had displayed that temper and willingness to brawl when he ran for president. I know everybody likes a good fight but save it for the real enemy; not a fellow Republican. Why is it a 73 year old man wants to retain this position so badly that he would obliterate the words of Reagan? I think we all know why. Power. Sheer, intoxicating power. It’s his opiate and the opiate of the Washington masses. To me, it’s not something I can overlook.

    I do not intend this to come off as a McCain hatchet piece, it isn’t. I respect and admire many of McCain’s accomplishments and his service to this nation. But, 28 years is plenty. Every candidate has their spots and weaknesses and everybody makes mistakes which leads me to point 4.

    4. I have never heard McCain apologize or even acknowledge his mistakes. It takes humility and introspection to do that. Not once have I heard McCain ever acknowledge doing anything wrong or voting in a manner that was not conservative.

    I can admire and respect the tenacity of Jim Deakin and his underdog status. I understand it and empathize with it. But, Jim and I have some of the same policy disagreements that Brian Miller (another dang fine man) and I had and I can’t in good conscience let them go. Sorry, Jim. I like and respect you and wish you well.

    I know what some people say and think about JD. They’re entitled to their opinion. But I’ve talked with JD personally and when he looks me in the eye and tells me he won’t compromise conservative principles and he will honor his commitment, I believe him. I’m willing to give him my trust and give him a shot to stop the hemorrhaging in Washington. If he, or any other politician for that matter abuses that trust or fails us, we vote them out. Plain and simple. I know there will be some that disagree and that’s fine; it’s what makes our country great and deciding what direction our country takes exciting. It’s great that people follow some politicians like they do sports teams. In a week or so, we’ll be able to take a breather.

  21. Sorry Shane, you’re the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about because you’re too close to JD and your circle of like-minded friends to see what the regular man on the street sees. You drank the kool-aid, friend. While I don’t doubt that you’re angry at McCain’s (real or perceived) tricks and slights against your boy, you haven’t looked at this race with a dispassionate eye. And so here you are, reduced to conjuring imagined conspiracies where there is nothing more than politics as usual.

    There are plenty of people out there who don’t like McCain or what he stands for (depending on what day it is), but flat out dislike and distrust Hayworth more. As I said earlier, the message was right but the messenger was wrong, wrong, wrong.

  22. Shellie Simler says:

    I agree with Andy Goss. We already know what we are going get with John McCain. He will trash conservative principles over and over again to side with the “Progressives” (McCain/Feingold, McCain/Kennedy, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” etc). It is time for a change and if JD Hayworth isn’t the change we are looking for, we will vote him out in 6 years.

  23. Shellie Simler couldn’t have made it plainer.

    If JD Hayworth isn’t the change we are looking for, at least he won’t be the stubborn stain in Arizona politics that we’re dealing with now.

  24. I have no doubt that Arizona will put McCain in the general. This is the state that elected Janet Napolitano – twice.

  25. …………………………
    johnny Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 10:20 am
    “I brought this up months ago and everyone brushed it off… I think there is a very real concern for Brewer and McCain that the conservatives in AZ will be turned off by them and either stay home or vote for someone else.

    I wont be surprised if McCain wins the primary (especially if its at all close with JD) that his poll numbers drop below 50% which is dangerous for an incumbent”

    I totally agree that McCain is not a guaranteed win against the Democrat in November if he wins the GOP primary. Up against Obama he looked tired, stale and slow, and THAT was two years ago! The campaign denial is in full swing, but his moribund campaign numbers bumped when Palin was brought on as VP candidate. She was fresh and energetic, which is what McCain wasn’t and isn’t.
    He’s running alone now, no fresheners. The Democrats proved they can beat him handily. Psychological advantage boost for them – not good for him.

    Irritatingly, as was pointed out above, for Conservatives, and Republicans in general it’ll be a wash. McCain, the stealth Democrat or the Democrat. Gah. His GOP label isn’t helping squat to move the GOP from minority party to majority, no close margins at all, and when the GOP is majority, what does he do? “Reach across the aisle.”

  26. Some of the people I talk to that aren’t voting for JD, are only voting for McCain because they think he has a better chance to beat Glassman (I don’t believe this), not because they like him. Almost everyone I talk to is sick of hearing him lie about JD.

  27. At first I thought I would just not vote is a disaster happens and McLame wins the primary. Now I have decided to vote for the other Democrat. You know the one actually registered as one instead on the one masquerading as a Republican. I can’t believe he had to spend over $15 million to be competitive with a guy that isn’t credible.” Guess we know why McLame fits in so well in DC

    It’s better for the State to have McLame gone and deal with Glassman in six years.

  28. Michael Holliday says:

    I’m not even going to throw my two cents into this mess.

    You know where I stand on McAmnesty.

    Let’s get to the voting and let the polls be damned…

  29. The facts we know about JD Hayworth we know because of JD Hayworth. JD was the one, the only one who made his decisions, who was a hypocrite, who decided to lie and cheat his way through life. What McCain did throughout his race is spend lots o lots of money to make sure that we know who JD is and what he has done in his past. If you think that JD was not the one on that infomercial we all saw, I would say you need a new career.

  30. I don’t see any polling that suggests the Democratic nominee would defeat McCain. The psuedo-Democrat would probably defeat the real one. I just know that given a choice between a real Democrat or a Democrat dressed as a Republican I would rather have a real Democrat. Just think this will most likely be the old man’s last term and someone earlier mentioned something about his legacy. Hmmm… wonder what McRino would like his legacy to be??? cough cough… amnesty… cough cough… I’m just not sure.

  31. Iris Lynch says:

    I think Andy Goss did a fine job of analyzing the situation. Under no circumstances will I vote for Mc Cain. Tonite I got a poll call from the McCain campaign. WILL YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHY, IF THIS IS SO WRAPPED UP, THAT THEY ARE STILL POLLING?

    SHOULD Mc Cain win, he will turn Democrat before the first year is up.

  32. I agree with Iris and Andy’s assesment completly.
    Every thime I hear McShame mention Ronald Reagan my stomach turns. John is a user he has used his family, political connections and the voters.
    It is time to say addios. Juan

  33. Very interesting piece that confirms McCain’s bullying techniques against anyone who gets in his way!

  34. May I remind you that if McCain wins the primary next week, you WILL have another choice besides him and some hapless Democrat in November: me, the Libertarian candidate. I invite you to visit my campaign website, read where I stand on the issues, and consider giving me your support.

    I won’t lie to you; I’m not a conservative, but I think most of you will find that we are in agreement on 60%-80% of the issues. And you can bet that Glassman (or Eden, etc.) will vote with the Obama Gang 80%-90% of the time.

    A vote for McCain says you like what he’s been doing. A vote for the Democrat says that you want more socialism. A vote for me says “A plague on both of you; I want someone I can trust to do what he says, even if I disagree with him 30% of the time.”

  35. Steve Calabrese says:

    We are going to elect a Senator in November.

    Either that Senator will be with Obama on 95-100% of the issues (a Democrat) or against Obama on about 90% of the issues (John McCain).

    I don’t care that McCain is not a very nice person.

    I don’t care that he is a “typical politican”.

    I don’t care that he has been mean to JD Hayworth.

    I just care about the laws that will be passed and the judges who will be appointed who will affect my life and the lives of my children.

    I am going to be holding my nose and voting for McCain in November, because with him I have a CHANCE of continuing to live in a free country. I wish to continue to live in a free country rather than living in a future where I periodically talk with other conservatives about how much everything sucks living in a socialist police state but hey, at least I didn’t compromise my principles by voting for McCain!

  36. Steve Calabrese says:

    David L. Nolan, the Libertarian party prides itself on running candidates in dozens of races but never actually winning a seat.

    The problem with Libertarians is that they tend to be intelligent, independent people but are seemingly unable to work as a team.

    I belive the two party system sucks. I believe that without effective opposition the parties become funadamentally corrupt. I wouldn’t mind seeing a more powerful Libertarian party.

    Here’s a thought: STOP RUNNING CANDIDATES IN EVERY RACE UNDER THE SUN. Focus on ONE or TWO races in the most vulnerable legislative district. Pick a district where both the Republican and Democrat candidates are weak. And then focus the entire resources of your party on getting someone actually elected to the legislature.

    Once you prove you can do that, people might take the Libertarian party seriously.

  37. Martin Sepulveda says:

    In the end, I hope many will decide that Arizona and our nation is more important than disliking John McCain.

    JD Hayworth had every right to challange any incumbent for any office. He chose Sen. McCain and immediately went on the attack. Again his prerogative.

    He failed miserably when he embarked to an alternate universe; where the truth didn’t matter and his record (such as it is) was highly exaggerated.

    Facts are stubborn things.

    JD Hayworth would not have even been a footnote if many of us did not feel a high level of angst and distrust towards the Obama Administration.

    Unfortunately for many of his supporters, he was not very forthcoming w/ the truth and during his 12 years in Congress.

    As the Congressman who represented my district, I and many of my neighbors fired him less than 4 years ago for his dismal performance and his penchant for not being truthful.

    John McCain will be re-elected to the Senate. We all need to support him as he continues to stand up to a misguided President and Congress.

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