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Ah, but what about the home front?

July 21, 2007 |  7:39 pm

Sen. John McCain has been a player on the national political scene for many years, giving George W. Bush a surprise smack in 2000's New Hampshire primary. And he easily won reelection to the Senate three years ago, with nearly 77% of the vote. For year's he's been the presumed heir to the Republican throne in 2008.

But this year has proven to be a rough one for McCain nationally. He and his team, including longtime advisor John Weaver, made the strategic decision a year ago to run an establishment campaign. McCain began the year as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, which didn't turn out to fit with the maverick image he so savors.

He raised a whole bunch of money and burned through it way too quickly. Now, his campaign and spending have been drastically cut back. Weaver and many other aides are gone. And expectations are way down--along with his poll numbers.

But meanwhile, what's been happening back home? The Times' veteran political reporter Scott Martelle went to Arizona to find out. And what he found is not such good news either. Scott's detailed story is available here and in Sunday's print editions.

--Andrew Malcolm