Washington Secrets

Poll: McCain's the 'wacko,' not Rand Paul

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Who's the "wacko bird" now, Mac?

In the first personality poll taken since Sen. John McCain fired his his "wacko birds" Maverick missile at fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster last week, the young turk turns out to be far more popular than his old bull critic.

Rasmussen Reports reveals that 67 percent of likely GOP voters have a favorable opinion of the first-term Kentucky senator. Just 52 percent view McCain favorably, and of that just 16 percent call their opinion "very favorable," said the pollster. For Paul, it's a nine-point, one-month surge and likely the result of his filibuster and McCain's friendly fire.

McCain's comrade in 'dissing Paul for thinking that the White House needed to make clear its policy of using drones to kill Americans on U.S. soil, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is even less liked. Just 45 percent view the South Carolina senator favorably, and of that only 10 percent say their opinion is "very favorable."

Paul filibustered the eventual approval of CIA Director John Brennan to make a point on drones. He was rewarded with a White House answer: Drones won't be used to kill Americans on U.S. soil.

But McCain sneered at that victory, and he has been rewarded with attacks from conservatives and popular pundits like radio host Mark Levin.

Other details according to Rasmussen: "23 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of Paul, compared to twice as many, 46 percent, who feel that way about McCain and 27 percent who say the same of Graham."

Among all likely voters, Paul has a 42 percent favorable rating, up from 35 percent in mid-February, and a number that makes him an attractive presidential candidate.

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