Arizona voters are looking a little more kindly toward Sen. John McCain (R), but their disapproval for the state's other senator, Dennis DeConcini (D) increased in the last five months, according to a poll published this week in the Arizona Republic.
Both senators' popularity plummeted in mid-1989 after reports of their involvement with Charles H. Keating Jr., whose Lincoln Savings and Loan failed.
Since Senate ethics committee hearings began in November into the intervention by DeConcini, McCain and three other senators with federal regulators on Keating's behalf, evidence has been much more damaging to DeConcini than McCain.
In August, 30 percent of those surveyed for the Republic approved of DeConcini's job performance and 35 percent disapproved. In the latest survey, 32 percent approved and 42 percent disapproved.
McCain's approval rating rose from 37 percent in August to 44 percent now, and his disapproval rating dropped slightly from 24 to 21 percent.
"There's been some damage, and I'll have to continue to repair that damage," McCain said.
DeConcini spokesman Bob Maynes said the results were not surprising. "We know from campaigns that when accusations are repeated often enough, even when they are unsubstantiated, as in this case, many people will eventually believe the worst," he said.
The poll showed that nearly two out of three Arizonans think DeConcini should either resign now or step down when his term ends in 1994, and nearly half think McCain, whose term ends in 1992, should do the same.