McCain Opens Up Sizeable Leads In New Primary And General Election Polls

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to workers at MD Helicopters, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz. McCain addressed numerous issues, including the ongoing VA situation, in the town hall style meeting. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has built solid leads in both Arizona’s upcoming GOP Senate primary and the general election, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

McCain leads Kelli Ward, 55-29, ahead of Arizona’s primary election on Tuesday.

In a hypothetical matchup against his likely Democratic challenger Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), McCain comes out 13 points ahead, 52-39.

Polls from earlier this summer showed a less clear lead for McCain, with Kirkpatrick just two points behind the former GOP presidential nominee in a June poll from Democratic pollster PPP.

The poll, conducted Aug. 18-23, surveyed 842 registered Arizona voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

TPM’s PollTracker Average for the general election shows McCain leading Kirkpatrick, 52 to 39.

TPM’s PollTracker Average for the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate election in Arizona shows McCain leading Ward, 53.3 to 29.

Latest Polltracker

Notable Replies

  1. In addition to being baffling, this is terrible news. It’s well past time for Sid McCrashcup to be sent to the home.

  2. I don’t feel baffled.

    This is “A” poll - not a bunch of polls, and certainly not the product of polling aggregation like the top poll aggregators such as Sam Wang, Pollster and 538 use.

    Remember that the typical promoise of “A” general poll that’s been properly constructed is, accurate to within +/- 5%, 19 times out 20. Then ask, “accurate” to WHAT? To the construct the given pollster has designed in order to overcome a variety of factors including that phone pollsters by law cannot phone cell phones, only land lines, and that online polls reflect the readership of a given publication or, for ‘set’ polls where the construct is done at the outset of the period to be polled and the pollster is repeatedly surveying from the same set, the danger than the set itself is skewed off reality.

    What the national aggregation of all state polling does is pretty much found off all the hard potential edges and biases and contruction and execution errors by sheer forces o numbers, off the idea that in general the OVERALL set of polls are going to yield a more accurate picture over time than any given poll randomly selected.

    So, now, consider people who will voting in the GOP primary in AZ for US Senator are NOT going to match the people who will be voting in the general election, and you get a sense of what POTENTIALLY can be dubious about this poll. Morever, note that Donald Trump, for example, was polling way LESS competitively against any of a set of Dems BEFORE the primary season than he was DURING the primary season, yet MORE competitively against a small set of Dem DURING the primary season than he is not against the Dem nominee, SOME of which is bound to be independent of whatever impressions were left from the presidential nominating conventions and events over the last couple of months, simply because of who the person being polled is being asked to hold in mind and express a preference for (e.g. the very act of expressing a preference for Trump over Kasich suggests as short term preference for a clearer choice in one primary versus a less clear on in the other, which then changes simply by virtue of the two nominees being settled on.).

  3. It’s a real pity that that sometimes the only way for Americans to get rid of Senators whose huge ego will simply not allow them to EVER let go of their seats is the “Scalia” scenario.

    McCain’s 80 years old (in 4 days). I’m kind of doubtful he’ll be around for the end of his term.

    Interestingly enough there are 7 other Senators over 80. Five of them are are Republican, none of which are retiring. The 2 who are Democrats (Feinstein and Mikulski) both announced they’re retiring at the end of their term. Go figure.

    EDIT: I take that back. Feinstein hasn’t announced retirement yet. Which is interesting since she’s the oldest Senator serving at 83 years old.

Continue the discussion at


Avatar for system1 Avatar for austinite Avatar for avattoir Avatar for tiowally

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: