The Senate Conservatives Fund is pointing to signs of trouble in John McCain’s re-election effort.
Pulling no punches, it sent a letter that begins: “Senator John McCain is in real trouble. If a strong conservative candidate runs against him in the Republican primary next year, he will lose.”
The letter, signed by SCF President Ken Cuccinelli, references poll results released in May showing 50 percent of Arizonans disapprove of McCain’s job performance, against 41 percent approval. An even smaller 37 percent “generally support” McCain’s re-election bid, the liberal group Public Policy Polling reports. Some 51 percent of respondents would support someone more conservative.
“There are few Republicans who have betrayed our conservative principles more than John McCain,” the Senate Conservatives letter continues.
Cucinelli goes on citing, “the McCain-Kennedy and ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bills that offered amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He also voted for the Wall Street bailout, Obamacare funding, the $600 billion “fiscal cliff” tax hike, and to raise the debt limit 14 different times!”
The SCF letter calls on those who are ready for a more conservative senator to pledge their support to “Replace McCain” by signing a petition and donating to the effort.
The SCF put out multiple Tweets Wednesday morning as well, pointing to the letter.
Even Democrats are recognizing the opportunity to oust the five-term Senator in a state that typically elects Republicans in statewide races. Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will risk her House seat to run against McCain.
The letter notes that one Republican, State Senator Kelli Ward (Lake Havasu City), has opened an exploratory committee to challenge the entrenched Senator. Ward has characterized a primary challenge to McCain as a classic David vs. Goliath battle.
Cuccinelli’s letter goes on: “This petition tells us if you’re willing to help us replace Senator McCain and the pledge lets us know how much money can be raised to win this race. It also sends a message to the DC establishment that the grassroots are energized and ready to replace McCain.”
U.S. House Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) is also considered a strong potential McCain challenger, but has remained quiet about his intentions. A source close to Salmon first confirmed to Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle in March that Salmon is seriously considering a run. Salmon may delay a decision until the fall.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), also included in the Public Policy Polling survey, has indicated that he will seek re-election to his current House seat in 2016.
McCain’s campaign team was recently called out on Twitter by the American Conservative Union (ACU) for selectively promoting his ratings with the influential group. A review of ACU ratings for the long time Senator’s voting record shows a trend toward more conservative voting going into tough election years. McCain’s Team posted his 2014 rating of 91 percent, ignoring the 53 percent from the prior year.
McCain’s voting record rating from Conservative Review is a mere 45 percent, earning him an F.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana