It appears Sen. John McCain is viewed by Arizona voters only slightly more favorably than President Obama, at least when it comes to the percentage of people who think the two federal officials are doing an “excellent” or “good” job.
A new Rocky Mountain Poll by the Behavior Research Center shows McCain with a 48 percent approval rating, while Obama’s is at 47 percent. The poll was conducted among 800 Arizonans (629 were registered voters) from Sept. 9-18. The results were released Sept. 28. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
Though both officials had a favorable rating overall – the percentage of those who viewed Obama’s job performance as “poor” or “very poor” was much higher than McCain’s. Thirty-two percent said Obama was doing a bad job, while 21 percent said they disapprove of McCain’s job performance.
The Behavior Research Center somehow took this to mean that the results reflect “the fierce attacks from the GOP toward nearly all aspects of (Obama’s) policies,” according to an analysis released along with the poll.
Those who wrote the analysis noted a deep partisan divide, and provided numbers to back that up. But it’s not clear how they made the leap that in Obama’s case it meant that people view him disfavorably due to Republican attacks.
“It also appears that these attacks have been most successful among voters over 55 years of age, middle income voters and Caucasians,” according to the analysis. “On the other hand, groups in which Mr. Obama remains favorably evaluated by a majority include ethnic minorities (especially Hispanics) both lower and upper income voters and voters under the age of 55.”
Those who disapproved of Obama’s performance were mostly Republicans (58 percent said he was doing a poor or very poor job). Many independents also viewed him unfavorably (31 percent said he was doing a poor or very poor job). Among Democrats, only 9 percent said he was doing poorly.
The results weren’t as partisan for McCain, although he did, of course, fare better among Republicans. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats and 28 percent of independents said he was doing a bad job. Thirteen percent of Republicans disapproved of his performance.
The pollsters also surveyed the job performance of Sen. Jon Kyl, whose results were similar to McCain’s. Kyl registered a 44 percent approval rating, while tallying 24 percent in the poor or very poor categories. A further breakdown of his results are below.
The wild card, once again, is the designation “fair” that is used in Rocky Mountain Polls. It’s sort of a murky designation that I interpret as those who are undecided about a politician’s performance; they could be swayed either way, or they are not paying close attention. McCain registered a 31 percent in the fair category, Kyl was at 32 percent, and Obama had a 21 percent.
It’s interesting that 94 percent of those polled had opinions on McCain and Obama, while only 75 percent responded for Kyl. It appears the Senate minority whip still doesn’t carry the same name recognition of his Senate counterpart in their home state. Perhaps a run for president (successful or not) would change that.
Poll Question: “Would you say that (public official’s name) is doing an excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor job in office?”
Excellent/Good Fair Poor/Very Poor
President Barack Obama
All voters 47% 21% 32%
Democrats 75% 16% 9%
independents 46% 23% 31%
Republicans 17% 25% 58%
U.S. Sen. John McCain
All Voters 48% 31% 21%
Democrats 37% 32% 31%
independents 38% 34% 28%
Republicans 56% 31% 13%
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl
All Voters 44% 32% 24%
Democrats 26% 31% 43%
independents 29% 35% 36%
Republicans 63% 29% 8%