Will McCain Have a Real Race?

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So, John McCain has survived his primary brush with political termination. But he still has another challenger standing between himself and re-election in November: former Tucson City councilman Mark Rodney Glassman. At first blush, it might seem that McCain will roll to easy victory this fall. A recent Rasmussen poll shows him 19 points ahead of Glassman, a wealthy young wonkl (he has three post-grad degrees), 53-34. But there are also reasons to wonder if McCain will have a rocky ride. Fifty-three percent is a rather underwhelming showing for a longtime incumbent–especially a household name like McCain. And Glassman, who is just 32, is a political neophyte with low name recognition–meaning his numbers are only likely to rise. Meanwhile demographics have gradually been pushing Arizona from a red to a purple state–Barack Obama kept things surprisingly close in McCain’s backyard in 2008. And speaking of demographics, McCain surely alienated large numbers of Arizona Hispanics with his rightward lurch on immigration.

All that said, Washington Democrats aren’t optimistic about beating McCain. Joe Biden may have been elected to the Senate at the tender age of 29, but 32 is still awfully young–particularly one challenging a former GOP presidential nominee. And former Tucson City Councilman doesn’t exactly make for a killer political resume. Nor is this likely to be a year where Democrats get the lucky breaks.

But it’s possible that the only thing worse than being a Democrat this November is being an incumbent. In which case McCain may yet have a race on his hands.