Surprise: New Poll Finds John McCain is the Least Popular U.S. Senator

Posted: Mar 07, 2014 9:30 AM

According to a new poll out of Arizona, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is the least popular incumbent in the United States. Put simply, PPP surveyed incumbent senators in various states, and as they put it, “McCain [had the] worst poll numbers in the country.”


PPP’s newest Arizona poll finds that John McCain is unpopular with Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike and has now become the least popular Senator in the country. Only 30% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing to 54% who disapprove. There isn’t much variability in his numbers by party- he’s at 35/55 with Republicans, 29/53 with Democrats, and 25/55 with independents.

McCain trails in hypothetical general election match ups with both 2012 nominee Richard Carmona (41/35) and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (42/35). He would lead though in a match-up with former Governor Janet Napolitano, 44/36. This has the potential to be an interesting one in 2016.

I’m not sure how Team McCain spins these numbers. Across the board, voters in Arizona overwhelming disapprove of the job he’s doing. Presumably, then, if and when he runs for re-election in 2016, he’ll need to rely heavily on Republicans and independents to carry him to victory. But the problem is only one-quarter of independents currently think he’s doing a good job, and what’s more, the Republican base is seemingly fed up with his “disastrous and harmful” voting record. Indeed, the Arizona Republican Party actually voted to censure him just two months ago:

Delivering a strong rebuke to U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republicans passed a resolution to censure the one-time presidential nominee for what they characterize as a liberal record that has been "disastrous and harmful" to the state and nation.

While McCain is a political star on the national stage, for years he has had to contend with vocal critics in his home state, who accuse him of betraying the Grand Old Party's principles.

Does this sound like a party willing and able to go to bat for John McCain in 2016? Hardly.

Now, of course, as Allahpundit notes, if the poll was taken from a national sample, perhaps his numbers would be higher, in part because he has national name recognition, and in part because Americans in general are probably more inclined to overlook his "liberal" voting record. But here’s the problem: he needs to convince the people of Arizona that he deserves to be re-elected.

And that will be difficult since, two years out, his approval ratings in his home state are lower than the president’s.