Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How McCain Could Win the GOP Nomination

As Kerry's surprise win in Iowa destroyed Dean's campaign in 2004, a win for Romney in Iowa could seriously wound Giulani's chances. And if Huckabee scores a surprise victory, both Romney and Giuliani could take a nosedive. In either case, Thomspon will probably suffer, since he really needs a victory to get some momentum. But the real beneficiary from the contest in Iowa--especially if Huckabee wins--could very well be McCain.

McCain is the only GOP candidate who does not need a win in Iowa to be competitive in New Hampshire. He is running a solid third in New Hampshire despite having no chance to win in Iowa, and his supporters are thought to be the most committed. Remember that McCain already won New Hampshire once, in 2000, and he was leading in the polls until just a few months ago.

As disaffected voters in New Hampshire look for another candidate, some will get behind the winner of the Iowa caucus, but others will return to McCain. Regardless of who wins in Iowa (but especially if Huckabee has a strong showing) McCain may well pick up enough stragglers from the losing campaigns to eke out a victory in New Hampshire.

If McCain can win in New Hampshire, I think there will be no stopping him. And that worries me, because I still think McCain has the best chance of keeping the White House in GOP hands. But I remain hopeful. My utterly unsubstantiated prediction is still: Hillary defeats McCain 52%-48%.


The Law Talking Guy said...

If McCain doesn't do better than
3rd in NH, I don't see him being viable.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I agree. In fact, if McCain does not win in New Hampshire, I do not see him as viable.

Raised By Republicans said...

Two things.

First, the Iowa Poll has Romney with a commanding lead sitting at 29%. Fred Thompson is second at 18% and Huckabee, Giuliani and "Not Sure" are all bunched up between 9% and 12%. McCain has 7%.

This poll was taken before Brownback endorsed McCain. But Brownback was only getting 2% support anyway, so assuming ALL of Brownback's people switch to McCain, that would put McCain tied with "Not Sure" at 9%.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, McCain is the MOST pro-war candidate from either party. If he runs as the Republican nominee and we still have troops in Iraq, it would make the 2008 election yet another referendum on the war and the Demcorats would clean up.

The war makes McCain unviable and it is McCain's unviability that has put the Republicans in the hole they are in now.

Dr. Strangelove said...

FYI, you may not have checked the Iowa polls lately? There has been huge movement in the past two weeks in Iowa. Huckabee is now solidly in second place, less than 10 points behind Romney in almost every poll and closing the gap. One poll even puts Huckabee in a statistical dead heat with Romney.

I have a different take on McCain's support for the war in Iraq. All major Republican candidates are and will be viewed as pro-war--and the Democrats will make sure of that. The inability to strongly support or oppose the war will cripple all Republican candidates except McCain. He will speak proudly of his pro-war stance... And isn't it just that kind of stubbornness that many voters take (mistake?) for principle?

The Law Talking Guy said...

Interesting about Huckabee. Now, the polls I have seen equate more with what RBR reported, but I've heard that Huckabee was "climbing."

Raised By Republicans said...

Those new polls don't help McCain out much. He's dead in the water and stuck at 7%. It would take a major implosion by several other candidates at once to put McCain in the top 2 on Caucus day.

I think you are under estimating how unpopular McCain's position is. He was polling really well before he started proudly declaring his support for the war and the surge strategy in particular. Then he tanked.

The link you posted shows McCain's demise clearly. He is represented by the red line in the graph. McCain has already imploded. He blew the election back in May and June of 2007 and just hasn't had the sense to realize it yet.

Now, if you have a scenario where Huckabee or Romney are a problem for Democrats that would be worrying.

Dr. Strangelove said...

If you will re-read my original post, you will see that I indicate McCain is not competitive in Iowa and will lose there. It is New Hampshire where I believe he will win. My logic was that at one or both of his key competitors in New Hampshire (Romney or Giuliani) will suffer from an Iowa loss, but McCain will not.

Do check the polls again. The net is abuzz about Huckabee in Iowa as a solid second and climbing.

Raised By Republicans said...

I agree Huckabee is on a roll of sorts. But McCain is doomed in both the primary and esepcially the general election because of his stance on the war.

His drop in the REPUBLICAN polls coincides with the "surge" becoming a big issue for him. Stick a fork in McCain, he's all but done.

Anonymous said...

In terms of the war stance, all the Republicans save Ron Paul would go down in next years election. War historically in this country isn't just a political issue - it is a deal breaker. Period. End of story. Candidates who are pandering to a much smaller Republican base in this area are whistling in the wind in terms of the general election.

Ron Paul's positions unfortunatly attract a small number of colorful folk which gets played up like a over watted guitar amp. However, if he were to break through this itty bitty granny committee rumor mill stuff he could take a couple of key primaries and scare the hell out of the democrats.

His supporters are becoming more main stream and despite the punditry, the majority are the red blooded american type.

Raised By Republicans said...

"red blooded american type?" What the hell does that mean anymore? White, male and conservative?

Ron Paul may have hit the "right" policy on the war but he's even more out of touch than the other candidates on a wide range of issues.

He's not as ideologically or intellecutally honest/consistent at Barry Goldwater and Goldwater got creamed.