Monday, November 17, 2008

Arizona Senate: History Points to Another Term for McCain, if He Wants It

By Nathan L. Gonzales

If history is a guide, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is well-positioned for another six years in the Senate, should he choose to run for re-election in 2010.

Democrats would love for outgoing Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) to run for McCain’s seat, but it’s unclear whether President-elect Obama will tap her to be a part of his administration. McCain won Arizona 54 percent to 45 percent against Obama last week.

Frankly, there isn’t a ton of historical precedence, but since the direct election of Senators began, both sitting Senators who lost their presidential bids went on to win another term.

After losing the 2004 presidential race, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) returned to the Senate and won re-election last week, 66 percent to 31 percent.

South Dakota Sen. George McGovern (D) lost the 1972 presidential race and won re-election two years later with 53 percent. McGovern was subsequently swept out in 1980, defeated by then-Rep. James Abdnor (R), while Republicans netted 12 Senate seats nationwide.

Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater (R) was up for re-election in 1964, but he ran for president instead and lost in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson.

And in 1996, Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) resigned his seat in June in order to focus on his ultimately unsuccessful presidential race.

This story
first appeared on on November 12, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.