PHOENIX - A new poll suggests the state's senior senator may have worn out his welcome with Arizona voters.
The statewide survey shows John McCain's popularity has dropped to the lowest level since the Behavior Research Center began asking about him in 2002. Only 26 percent of the 700 adult heads of households questioned earlier this month rate his performance as excellent or good.
Conversely, 36 percent say he is doing a poor or very poor job in office. This is the first time the survey has showed McCain's negative numbers exceeded his positives.
Further, only 21 percent now say he deserves another term - if he wants one - in 2016, though clearly a lot could change between now and then.
It's not just Democrats dragging the numbers down. Jim Haynes, president of the Behavior Research Center, found 61 percent of Republicans think it's time for someone else.
He also appears to have lost ground across the philosophical spectrum, with two thirds or more of self-identified liberals, moderates and conservatives wanting another choice.
McCain press aide Brian Rogers said the senator had no comment, saying his boss "doesn't pay much attention to the polls, whether they're up or down."
The new figures come as McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, have taken lead roles in a bid to craft a new bipartisan immigration plan. While the nearly 900-page measure was not formally unveiled until after the survey was completed, substantial details already had become public.
Haynes said none of that apparently has softened the senator's image among Democrats. And he is not doing himself any favors with his own party.
"Some percentage of Republicans view him negatively because he's 'playing house' too much with the Democrats," Haynes said.
By comparison, the same group of voters was asked about Gov. Jan Brewer, who has been outspoken in her belief any immigration deal now would amount to the same kind of "amnesty" as when the last comprehensive immigration reform proposal was adopted during the Reagan administration.
While Brewer's overall statewide ratings slipped a bit in the last year, she retained the backing of 55 percent of Republicans.
But Haynes said there may be something else at work: a general disgust with the public at Congress. "I don't think anybody likes anybody right now," he said.
The telephonic survey, which also includes 438 registered voters, has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
April 2013 survey:
What kind of a job is the senator doing?
• Excellent or good - 26%
• Fair - 27%
• Poor or very poor - 36%
Do you think Sen. McCain should get another six-year term or is it time for someone else?
• Another term - 21%
• Prefer new senator - 67%
• Not sure - 12%
- Source: Behavior Research Center