Fire with fire: McCain uses radio to fend off radio’s Hayworth


Former radio talker and US Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) is spreading a nationwide net to bring in campaign cash and is close to hauling in $1M for the month of March for his US Senate campaign. But his formidable Republican primary opponent, incumbent Sen. John McCain, has spent about that much on radio to hold Hayworth back.

Hayworth exited Clear Channel’s KFYI-AM Phoenix this year to run against McCain.

According to, the conservative talker is also using radio, but not nearly at the level of the McCain campaign.

McCain has long enjoyed substantial support from independent voters, which help him to victory in a general election, but they are not eligible to vote in the Republican primary, which may be one reason that Hayworth sees him as vulnerable.

Tacking to McCain’s right, Hayworth is hoping to harness the power of the Tea Party movement, but McCain made a strong counter move in gaining the endorsement and rally support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a favorite of the Tea Party movement in her own right.

It is expected that the Republican primary will prove to be the true Senatorial election in Arizona this year. Both CQPolitics and the Cook Political Report rate the seat as Safe Republican.

RBR-TVBR observation: The primary in Arizona this year isn’t until 8/24/10. That may be good for radio. As long as this race remains competitive, we suspect that the campaigns may be content to batter away at each other over the AM and FM airwaves before digging deeper into their pockets for TV time later this summer.