During an appearance on the Politics in the Yard show on Sunday, John McCain tried desperately to put a positive spin on his party’s prospects in the general election.
While praising Republican turnout on a recent appearance on Politics in the Yard, McCain said: “If all those people would get behind the Republican candidate I think we could win this election, despite the alienation, frankly, of a lot of the Hispanic voters.”
Well he’s not wrong about the alienation part. As Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice recently said, “Donald Trump is going to be prove to be the most unpopular general election candidate in modern election history among Latino voters.”
But McCain is fooling himself about that being anything less than catastrophic in the fall. First, as we’ve noted: primary turnout means nothing for the general election. Second, as a Center for American Progress report recently demonstrated, there just aren’t enough of the white male voters Trump is attracting to make up for his habit of alienating Latinos and women, among other voters. In fact, quite the contrary.
Nate Silver recently said that “Trump is deeply unpopular with general election voters,” adding that he “is more likely to ‘transform the electoral map’ by turning red states blue, rather than the other way around.”
And Trump isn’t the only one in trouble; it looks like he could take the whole party down with him. If Republicans nominate Donald Trump, they risk losing a majority in the House and Senate, along with the presidency, and McCain should be worried for his own re-election.
Polls show McCain tied with his Democratic opponent Ann Kirkpatrick, and even fellow Arizona Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe is describing the race as the “toughest race that he’s faced since he was first elected.” Kolbe laid that trouble at Trump’s feet: “I don’t see how Donald Trump helps any incumbent Republicans. I think he’s a drag on the ticket.”
And McCain’s own record with Latino voters is mixed. He was a member of the Gang of Eight fighting for immigration reform, but he’s also taken harder stances, recently saying, “I still strongly believe in border enforcement, and I will continue to push for border enforcement. And if someone doesn’t believe in border enforcement, then I don’t seek their vote.”
Maybe McCain should take his head out of the sand and instead reach out to his state’s Latino voters — who make up 22% of Arizona’s electorate –instead of dismissing them.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)