Marc Cooper of The Nation brings us a sad history of the McCain campaign that's worth a read.
McCain hasn't had a serious primary challenger since his maiden Congressional race, in 1982, and he's never had a serious Democratic rival. Even in his earlier, more "maverick" incarnation, being out of sync with the state's hardline GOP activist base, and even much of its midlevel officialdom, carried little liability. McCain was the only game in town.
But not this time around. The volatile and frankly extremist mood of the Arizona Tea Party, the inflammatory immigration issue and the sour disposition of voters in general—all exploited by and embodied in Hayworth—have unexpectedly landed McCain in the fight of his political life. Indeed, he has lurched so aggressively to the right to counter Hayworth and appease voters like Haney that hard-right blogger Michelle Malkin says she has had to take Dramamine to avoid motion sickness watching McCain. Not that his movement has bought him much affection from the frayed right edge of Arizona politics.
It's a two-pager, but it's worth a read here.