John McCain's Lead Over J.D. Hayworth at 11 Points, According to Latest Poll

A new poll was released today in the ruthless dogfight that is the Arizona Republican Senate primary, and, as has been the case in several other polls, Senator John McCain is hovering around 50 percent -- something that has pollsters like Scott Rasmussen and McCain's opponent J.D. Hayworth saying "The Maverick" is vulnerable.

If that's the case, Hayworth hasn't exactly pounced on the opportunity -- these numbers haven't changed a whole lot since April. In fact, Rasmussen had Hayworth within five points of McCain in April, and if you're buyin' the latest poll, that deficit has more than doubled.

The latest Rasmussen poll shows that McCain now leads Hayworth 47 percent to 36 percent in the race, with Jim Deakin standing strong with 7 percent of the vote.

And Hayworth seems to see his 11-point deficit as good news.

"This is clearly a two-person race," Hayworth says in a press release this morning. "Despite a massive, negative, misleading campaign by Senator McCain, voters still recognize that he has been there too long and does not represent our values."

Hayworth goes on to say how Rasmussen compares McCain to ousted Senator Arlen Spector because he's an incumbant who's failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote.

The McCain campaign, however, isn't stressing its failure to hit the esteemed 50 percent mark in the poll, and "The Maverick's" campaign spokesman, Brian Rogers, points out to New Times that in two other Rasmussen polls taken in the last six months, McCain has had more than 50 percent.

"We don't live and die with every poll, but this is the fifth-straight survey showing Senator. McCain up double-digits. That's a trend," Rogers says. "Rasmussen has been all over the map on this race: Tied last November, Senator McCain up 22 in January, much closer in April, etc. So it's not clear that they're getting a good read on the campaign."

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James King
Contact: James King