Former presidential candidate and current senior U.S Senator from the state of Arizona, John McCain (R), got some pretty awful news today, he is going to have to run against a strong Democratic opponent next year. This hasn’t been a great year for Senator McCain, after losing the presidential race in 2008 to then Senator Obama, McCain has seen a backlash against him in his home state of Arizona. In 2010 he had to fend off a primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth, who he easily beat on primary day but his problems with conservatives are anything but over. A Public Policy Polling out earlier this month had John McCain losing to the “Someone more conservative” option by a wide margin, 51% to 37%. The Polling Company also found the same grave news for the McCain campaign, finding him behind 60% to 30% to “A different Republican”. Former Governor Jan Brewer also out performs McCain in a possible GOP primary match-up. Now McCain has something else to worry about, the Democrat he now has to face.
Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) will challenge Senator McCain, not only giving the Democrats a grade A progressive recruit to take on McCain but now puts Arizona in play and represents a possible pick-up as Democrats fight to retake the U.S Senate chamber away from GOP control. Ann Kirkpatrick isn’t well known outside of Arizona unless you are a political junkie but her resume is impressive. She currently represents Arizona’s first congressional district, a Republican leaning district that is located in the northeast quadrant of the state.
Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, after hearing the news that Kirkpatrick was entering the race, upgraded that race from “Republican favored” to “Leans Republican”, awful news for John McCain. Kirkpatrick will have a tough race on her hands since Arizona is still not friendly territory for Democrats, voting for McCain and Romney the last two presidential elections. However Kirkpatrick is used to running close campaigns and winning, she defied the GOP red wave last year to win re-election in a congressional district that has more registered Republicans than Democrats. Many political experts saw Kirkpatrick as a political goner, but her strong ties to the district’s Native American population kept her alive and she was able to eek out a victory on a brutal election night for Democrats.