The “elderly” presidential candidates (as Ben Carson calls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) are not the only candidates whose health is being questioned. Six-term Senator John McCain is running again, and this time, he has a younger primary opponent, osteopath Kelli Ward. Ward is not warning that McCain is sick—only that he’ll be dead.

John McCain’s underdog opponent in next week’s primary election is going there: Should he win, Kelli Ward told POLITICO flatly on Thursday, the soon-to-be 80-year-old senator may not live to finish out his six-year term.

“I’m a doctor. The life expectancy of the American male is not 86. It’s less,” Ward said in an interview here. . .

Ward, a former state senator, insisted it’s not a last-ditch attack to reverse her fortunes; polls show her trailing badly. Arizonans, she said, “have the right to know he’s an 80-year old man who’s been in Washington for more than 40 years” — a slight exaggeration of his 34 years in D.C. . .

McCain has faced this scrutiny before, particularly in 2008 when the Associated Press wrote a story quoting actuaries who calculated he had a 25 percent chance of not surviving a second term as president.

McCain said the attacks from Ward will backfire with voters.

This is not an easy year for McCain. His feud with Donald Trump has been all over the airwaves, papers, and web. Trump did, eventually, grudgingly, endorse McCain, but he was upset that McCain was first so tentative and grudging in supporting Trump. The war was not as rough as it was between Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump’s people were actually “on the ground” fighting for Ryan’s primary opponent. But Trump’s media voice, Breitbart, is in the mix in Arizona, as evidenced in this Breitbart story about the Arizona primary.

On August 30th, Arizona Republicans will head to the polls to decide whether they will continue to allow Senator John McCain to represent them in Washington, D.C. For more than three decades McCain has been a central figure in the DC establishment and his campaign is bolstered by big money from the permanent political class. He has used that money to ruthlessly attack his anti-establishment primary challenger, former State Senator Dr. Kelli Ward. . .

There have been several positive developments for Dr. Ward’s campaign since the last legitimate poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) in May. That poll showed Dr. Ward tied with McCain in a heads up race 41% – 41% but trailing 39% – 26% when several lesser known candidates were included. Two of the three candidates splitting the vote have left the race, with Scott McBean failing to turn in enough signatures to make the ballot and Alex Meluskey suspending his campaign just before early voting started on August 3rd. Although Meluskey’s name will still appear on the ballot, the primary race has boiled down to Ward vs McCain.

Ward has also picked up important endorsements from a broad spectrum of center-right luminaries. Phyllis Schlafly, Ron Paul, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Congressman Thomas Massie, Former Congress man Virgil Goode, Laura Ingraham, and Right Wing News have all thrown their support behind Ward. . .

Arizona’s long early-voting period means that more than 50% of voters will have already turned in their ballots before the primary on August 30th. Dr. Ward is counting on the late-deciders to break heavily against the incumbent. In tight races, late deciders tend to go to the challenger, which is why McCain is trying to downplay Ward’s chances and why Ward’s campaign must make people believe she’s got a chance.

Breitbart also ran a scathing article written by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert.

On August 30th, the prescription that has the best chance of curtailing suffering at home and abroad from the McCain wrongheaded, misguided, heavy-handed judgment is to vote for Dr. Kelli Ward to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. People of the world and the politically non-establishment citizens of the U.S. are praying that the people of Arizona will say, “enough is enough; please come home, John McCain, take a rest, let Arizona, the nation and world recover.”

Actually, the BREITBART/Gravis poll puts Ward ahead by nine percent.

But, outside of Breitbart World, things look a little different. Last week’s Data Orbital poll says McCain is ahead by 21%.

A new statewide poll gives U.S. Sen. John McCain a 50 percent to 29 percent lead over Republican primary challenger Kelli Ward.

Still, 17 percent are undecided in the poll by Data Orbital LLC. That group is headed by George Khalaf, former political director for the Arizona Republican Party.

Meanwhile, a new CNN/ORC poll says McCain tops Kelli Ward by a 55% to 29% margin among likely Republican primary voters. That’s 26%, advantage: McCain.

If McCain wins on Tuesday, he’ll face Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick in November. The 66-year-old Kirkpatrick has already said she will not make age an issue in the campaign. However, she did say that McCain has “lost his independent streak.” But Politico says the “freewheeling,” “straight talking,” “happy warrior” McCain is back.

The dour John McCain of Capitol Hill is on hiatus. In his place, at least for a day: The loose, accessible, happy warrior of Straight Talk Express yesteryear.

. . . here in Arizona, the queries don’t seem to bother him as much. He is visibly lighter on his feet, running what might be his last campaign in vintage plainspoken style.

“Before I have to talk about Trump, I would like to mention to you that many of you don’t know or understand what a real tech expert I am,” McCain said, waving an iPhone around before taking questions from the audience. “Cindy makes me buy a new one about every six months; takes me about six months to figure the goddamn thing out.”. . .

Throughout the day Tuesday, McCain toggled between the serious and lighthearted, with a heavier dose of the latter. He opened his remarks with rapid fire jokes that sounded like something out of a late-night TV show, directing complaints about utility bills to Patricia DiRoss, a power company executive.

“And by the way, Patricia, thank you for not mentioning I ran for the president of the United States. After I lost, I slept like a baby. Sleep two hours, wake up and cry. Sleep two hours, wake up and cry,” McCain said.

Then he dinged Congress: “Anyone here in the 14 percent who approves of Congress please raise your hand. If you just raised your hand, please do not drive an automobile here in Scottsdale. You’re a danger to yourself and others.”

But McCain also showed his independence by ripping a major Trump donor—who also has a Breitbart connection.

A billionaire supporting Sen. John McCain’s underdog primary opponent may be doing so as payback, McCain said Wednesday.

Robert Mercer, co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, gave $200,000 to a super PAC supporting Kelli Ward, McCain’s conservative challenger in next week’s GOP primary. The money helped fuel a $600,000 ad campaign that alleges McCain “betrayed us on amnesty” and boosts Ward.

Two years ago, McCain and former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) issued a report that named Mercer’s company as among more than a dozen firms that dodged billions in tax payments through a complicated financial product known as basket offerings. McCain said at the time that companies including Renaissance Technologies played “by a different set of rules” and secured an “unfair tax advantage over ordinary citizens.”

On Wednesday, McCain suggested there’s a connection between Mercer’s financial help for Ward and the scrutiny his company’s trading practices received. The senator predicted that there will be “scandals in the future” regarding campaign finance due to these shadowy connections.

“We issued a scathing report about this guy evading taxes, his firm. I’m sure there’s no connection of a $600,000 injection into the Kelli Ward campaign,” McCain said sarcastically. Mercer is a major financial backer of Donald Trump and an investor in Breitbart News, the conservative pro-Trump website.

The latest CNN/ORC poll puts McCain ahead of Democratic general election challenger Kirkpatrick by 13 points.