THE ARIZONA GUARDIAN, written by Dennis Welch. JANUARY 28, 2010: U.S.Sen. John McCain's job approval ratings have hit to their lowest point since he was accused of participating in a banking scandal more than 16 years ago, according to a survey released Thursday.
McCain’s approval ratings fell to 40 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Behavior Research Center. They haven't been that low since 1994, when McCain was still rebuilding his image following the much-publicized “Keating Five” scandal in the early 1990s.
The formerGOPpresidential nomineestill looks tough to beat despite the falling numbers, said Earl de Berge, who conducted the political survey.
McCain’s job approval ratings are still very strong among registered Republicans, the group he needs to successfully fend off a primary challenge by former U.S.Rep. J.D. Hayworth.
Fifty-two percent of registered Republicans like the job McCain is doing, while 14 percent of those questioned say Arizona's senior senator is doing a poor job. With those numbers, de Berge said, McCain will be hard to knock off.
"A McCain-Hayworth primary, however, will undoubtably provide voters with much entertainment as the two argue about which one is more conservative and worthy of trust," de Berge said.
In the early 1990s, McCain and four other senators, including Arizona Sen.Dennis DeConcini, were accused of trying to influence banking regulators on behalf of political ally Charles H. Keating, Jr. McCain was never found guilty of any wrongdoing but was criticized for using poor judgment.
McCain and former astronautSen. John Glenn, R-Ohio, were the the only lawmakers to go on to win re-election. Thepolitical scandal, part of the largersavings and loan crisis, ended the political careers of the other three.
McCain's image took a bruising during that time as his approval ratings dropped to 38 percent in 1994, according to the survey.
De Berge interviewed 800 heads of households between Jan. 7-22. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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