January 30, 2008

So is it McCain vs. Clinton?

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 10:02 am

It certainly looks like it will be McCain winning the GOP nomination. Very interesting they would go for a 71 year old man but his strengths are that he’s seen as more moderate than Romney and Huckerbee. In the general election therefore McCain can claim a little bit more ground than either of those other two because he is not pegged over on the right. (9u11iani has never been a factor, he just had high name recognition.)

(See update below on Edwards dropping out. Now Dem nominee looks most likely to be Clinton, as polls have shown all along.)

That means McCain can get the majority of GOP support plus try to get centrists and independents. Of course Romney and Huckerbee are somewhat more preferred by the arch-conservatives and the fact that their campaigns imploded must be worrying for them. He he!

I suppose McCain will run on positioning himself in opposition to Bush, despite the fact he votes almost all the time for Bush and really likes him!

The trouble with this is that if he’s after the disaffected vote, which of course is substantial, he runs up against a backstop in that these voters are more naturally aligned with voting for the other party, namely the Dem nominee. If you oppose Bush why not just vote Dem? So there’s only so far his support goes.

As I said 10 days ago when it began to look like McCain would win in Florida and thus the nomination, he will present the toughest opponent for the Dems.

You can track head-to-head here.

This certainly doesn’t mean he would win though and I still place my bets on a Democrat winning.


Here’s OpenLeft:

  • Conservative media elites will thrash McCain.
  • Money.
  • McCain only has Iraq.
  • McCain is soft.

Now, with all of this said, I still think that Romney would have been 5-7% easier to defeat. Further, with Romney we had a much better chance of a blowout election that could result in a generational mandate that would realign American politics. However, I just want to make it clear that McCain is still a highly vulnerable target, no matter who wins the Democratic nomination (Clinton and Obama perform roughly equal against him). Better yet, defeating McCain by 5% or more would send the Republican Party reeling for a long, long time to come. Even better than that, a narrow victory over McCain, coupled with progressive primary challenger success and big wins in the Senate, would still produce the most progressive government in D.C. in forty-five years, and possibly ever. Beating McCain crushes Republicans and conservatives over the long-term, whereas beating Romney would only be a temporary victory.
So bring on McCain. While I would have preferred Romney, there are still many benefits to McCain as the Republican nominee.

All of this is right, perhaps obviously so, and I would add that the country is ready for a new party in the White House. This is really why there are so many good Democratic candidates and why the GOP candidates are, let’s face it, pretty much second tier and uninspiring.

Update: John Edwards to drop out, no immediate endorsement. So from five somewhat viable candidates a week ago we’re left with three, and with 2 most likely (McCain vs. Clinton).

I expect Edwards would prefer Obama but will wait until after Super Tuesday and then endorse Clinton.

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  1. President Hillary Clinton. Get the letterhead ready. It shouldn’t have happened but I think more GOP’ers will stay home before voting for him. The only thing I can say is that a McCain v Clinton general election offers a depressing election.

    Comment by in2thefray — January 30, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  2. Why is it depressing?

    Comment by ubikcan — January 30, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  3. 1. I am a Republican. 2. I was never under the impression the next Prez was going to be a mandate candidate. With that said this combo offers nothing that is positive for democracy. 3. I’m a Republican. 4. An election is supposed to be about choices and opposition. That’s a key to democracy. A creepy liar and a class warfare general. Nice picks.

    Comment by in2thefray — January 30, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  4. Oh yeah. I agree with your analysis of Edwards. Ideologically he “should” go w/Obama but will go with the statistical leader.

    Comment by in2thefray — January 30, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  5. You calling McCain a creepy liar or a class warfare general?

    Of course, I think it is a great matchup given that Clinton will probably win! Most Dems are happy with the top 3 candidates. Progressives would have preferred Edwards or Obama but in some ways Hillary is the strongest candidate for the GOP to beat.

    Comment by ubikcan — January 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  6. Many polls show that McCain beats Hill yet the Repubs are not consoled. John is the liar btw. People can be upset about hanging chads so I reserve the right to be disgruntled with this election. The dems are going to nominate their strongest candidate politically but weakest ideologically. The GOP is at best going with their best shot for a poll based win without admitting the oldest possible prez will have his hat handed to him in the ad/image war.They are also selling out principles of the Constitution but it is politics so I see how they can do that. Thanks for indulging my angst-take care

    Comment by in2thefray — January 30, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  7. “The dems are going to nominate their strongest candidate politically but weakest ideologically”

    I assume you’re referring to Hillary Clinton. It’s an interesting question whether she is weak ideologically (ie a weak liberal). On a number of scorecards and ratings she gets 90% or more progressive rating. she holds a 91% lifetime score from the Americans for Democratic Action.

    She’s most conservative in two areas: foreign policy and security. On the category War and Peace as rated by Progressive Punch she gets only 83.3% placing her 34 out of 99 Senators ranked.

    She’s also low on human rights and civil liberties, scoring only an 84%, or 28 out of 99 Senators ranked. some of this is because she’s missed votes (both she and Obama were there yesterday for the important PAA votes).

    She’s good on health care (97.8%) as you’d expect, good on energy policy and farm bills, housing, welfare etc.

    I’m not trying to say she’s a stealth liberal, just that in the common mind that often thinks of her as not as liberal as Obama and Edwards she’s not too shabby after all.

    Comment by ubikcan — January 30, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

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