McCain Turns Purple States Red?
By: Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 07, 2008
Much of the current analysis of the presidential campaign battle is
missing the point. All of the media attention is focused on the Hillary
Clinton vs. Barack Obama heavyweight fight as if it will decide the
election. But it seems observers in Washington, D.C. haven’t yet sensed
the undercurrent running in the country, which for the first time in
four years has turned and is running the Republican’s direction. The
election map is changing. And with the changes, it will offer a totally
new red/blue-state picture when the dust clears next November.
A brand new poll commissioned by the National Campaign Fund shows that
McCain can win California. The findings show, if Barack Obama is the
nominee, he is in trouble on two issues in California. For Hillary
Clinton, one issue in particular poses a problem for her in that state.
First, the poll, which was written by Adam Geller of the respected
National Research Inc., shows that both Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton are stuck under the magic 50% mark against John McCain in
The poll concludes: “when voters learn of Obama’s support of licenses
to illegal aliens, they become far less likely to support him. They are
also far less likely to support Obama when they learn of his support
for more spending, to be funded by higher taxes.” McCain puts
California in play for Republicans for the first time since 1988, or 20
Hillary, likewise, has a big problem in California. As a state with a
large retired population, “when voters learn the details of Clinton’s
failed health care proposal -- which she has tried to resurrect -- they
become far less likely to support her. These messages are especially
effective among swing voters,” Gellar’s poll says.
The incessant fighting amongst Democrats is beginning to take its toll:
“Democrats are showing the signs of split due to the contentious
primary between Clinton and Obama. McCain is benefiting, receiving a
decent number of votes from Obama favorables versus Hillary, and from
Hillary favorables versus Obama,” the Gellar poll shows.
Hillary won the Democratic primary in California and in Texas relying
heavily on Hispanic voters. These voters are much friendlier to McCain
than Obama. McCain has traditionally done well with Hispanic voters in
Arizona, his home state. Hillary Clinton’s Texas victory has even been
called by one political pundit the “triumph of the red necks and
Hispanics over the inner city blacks that have come to dominate
In addition to California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and
Connecticut look like blue states that could easily shift to the
maverick westerner McCain.
Another undercurrent that is running against any Democratic candidate
is the electorate’s perception of Iraq. According to a survey by the
nonpartisan Pew Research Center: “Public views of the military effort
in Iraq have become more positive. The results suggest that, barring
another reversal, Democrats' ability to use the war as a political
weapon could be somewhat curtailed, particularly when the general
election campaign begins.”
McCain is unique in that he criticized President Bush’s strategy when
it wasn’t working, and he advocated the surge in troops. When President
Bush adopted the McCain strategy of a surge, Iraq news turned more
positive. These opinions track more closely with the views of a
majority of Americans, and the Democrat contenders’ position of
immediate withdrawal is only popular with the hard left in their party.
Finally, Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Obama’s experience and foreign
policy expertise are starting to take a toll. Even if Obama wins the
nomination as his delegate lead suggests, Hillary Clinton’s attacks
will damage Obama for the general election and telegraph a similar
strategy that will be adopted by McCain in the fall.
The longer this bloodletting continues in the Democratic Party, the
less likely either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will go onto the
White House as president.
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