For nearly 30 years, John McCain has represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate. But now, in what will be his sixth senatorial run, the republican incumbent is worried he’ll lose a job he’s held since 1987. All because of Donald Trump.
John McCain recently admitted to donors that Trump’s unpopularity with Latinos could rub off on him.
In a secret recording obtained and published by Politico, McCain is heard telling a group of donors at a private fundraiser that he’s legit afraid that belonging to the same party as Donald Trump will work against him given Arizona’s large Latino population.
“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” he said at the event, which took place in Phoenix back in April.
“Frankly there’s an element of nativism in it as well, as you know,” McCain added. “The first wedge that Donald Trump had that gave him notoriety was, ‘Build a wall,’ ‘rapist,’ ‘murderers,’ etc. And so, this is going to be a tough campaign for me.”
In the tape, McCain also came across as blaming Latino media for calling out the presumptive GOP frontrunner.
“If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.”
Ann Kirkpatrick, his opponent, has already hit him hard on Trump.
McCain’s fear that Trump could be a real problem for his reelection efforts are not entirely unfounded. Recent polls show that the former presidential candidate and his opponent Ann Kirkpatrick are in a dead heat. And things will only get worse for McCain. Kirkpatrick launched a campaign ad in February that tried to hang Trump around McCain’s neck, so it’s likely that she’ll hit him again with this in the near future.
But wait, it gets worse for McCain. As a GOP political strategist told KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix, McCain can’t completely disavow Trump because the reality TV star has YUUUGE support in Arizona, and they share some of the same voter base. In other words, McCain is screwed if he says nothing, and he’s screwed if he distance himself from Trump.
One thing’s for certain though: McCain’s precarious situation is a great example that the Latino vote matters and can make a difference. Something tells us McCain won’t be the only one who’ll have to weather the Trump storm.