In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Why The Political Deck In Arizona Might Be Stacked Against John McCain (CORRECTED)

Jkfauvjz9acukvgzruv2
Newscom

Voting registration figures in Arizona through last spring show that Republicans, Democrats, and independents and minor parties all take about a third of registered voters. McCain has traditionally had a strong appeal with the state's independents -- but they can't vote in the GOP primary, leaving a heavily conservative, anti-illegal immigration base to choose the nominee.

Espino still thinks McCain would be the frontrunner, but areas of vulnerability do exist for him. Espino also said that the potential opportunity for Democrats could be missed -- if no significant Democrats decide to run.

"If McCain were to be defeated in the Republican primary, I think most people would think that would bode pretty well for any Democratic candidate running for Senate," he explained. "But because most folks here on the Democratic side are just waiting to figure out whether McCain's gonna get challenged or not, it's not clear who's going to go for the Senate seat."

However, Hayworth himself could have problems. Minuteman activist Chris Simcox, who was already in the race, told The Arizona Republic that he would not get out of the race if Hayworth gets in, which could split the anti-McCain vote. Simcox told the paper there's "no way in hell" he's quitting the race.