John McCain doesn’t even have an opponent in the 2010 U.S. Senate primary, but a new poll shows the race would be tied if he did. Conservative polling firm Rasmussen asked likely Republican voters whether they would vote for McCain or J.D. Hayworth, a former Arizona U.S. Representative and talk radio star. McCain had only a two-point lead, with 45 percent choosing him and 43 percent backing Hayworth, who hasn’t even declared himself a candidate yet.
Hayworth’s appeal is apparently to younger, hot-headed, anti-immigrant Arizonans. He and his former chief of staff wrote the book, “Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror,” in which, according to Wikipedia, he criticized George W. Bush for taking contributions from industries like meat packing and construction that depend on immigrant labor. He also claimed the Constitution bars children of illegals from U.S. citizenship, and advocates “Americanization” ala Henry Ford, who said immigrants should speak English and be taught “the right way to live.”
The bombastic Hayworth, described by Wonkette as an “Arizona-American,” currently hosts an afternoon drive-time radio show from Phoenix and fills in for Laura Ingraham when she is indisposed.
Hayworth ran into trouble while serving in Congress from 1995 through 2006, not for taking huge donations to his PAC from Jack Abramoff, but for using about a quarter of all the money raised by his PAC to pay his wife for bookkeeping services.
McCain has drawn no Democratic opponent in the race.