Sen. John McCain continues to lead Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate primary contest, with challenger J.D. Hayworth trailing him by 12 points.
McCain has 52 percent of the vote, compared with Hayworth’s 40 percent, according to the new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Arizona. Two percent prefer some other candidate, and 6 percent are undecided.
Despite the lead, Rasmussen notes that any incumbent who earns less than 50 percent support is considered potentially vulnerable, and McCain has been hovering around that mark all year.
One indication of McCain’s growing concern about the primary race is his recent shake-up of his campaign staff, replacing his top local staffers with major national political advisers, Rasmussen says.
A month ago, McCain had a modest 47 percent to 42 percent edge over Hayworth.
Hayworth has criticized McCain for being soft on illegal immigration, an issue that resonates with Arizona voters, but McCain has been a strong supporter of the state’s new immigration law despite criticism of it by President Obama and others, including major Hispanic organizations.
Arizona Republicans will pick their candidate in an Aug. 24 primary. Businessman Rodney Glassman is the leading Democratic Senate candidate, and Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers matching him against the two Republicans later today.
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