June 24, 2005

50-0 FILES:

McCain Would Trounce Hillary in ’08 Match-up, 54%-35% (Zogby.com, June 23, 2005)

Arizona Senator John McCain would overwhelmingly defeat New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a theoretical 2008 presidential match-up, a new Zogby America poll reveals. [...]

The survey finds that both senators far outdistance their nearest competition for their parties’ nominations—but in a head-to-head match-up, the Arizona Republican bests the New York Democrat by 19 points, leading her 54% to 35%. McCain would also defeat Massachusetts Senator—and former Democratic presidential candidate—John Kerry by a full 20 points, 55% to 35%.

McCain has majority support in every single geographic region of the country. But more telling may be the fact that, even in the states carried by Kerry in 2004, McCain comes out comfortably on top—leading Clinton by 49 to 38% and Kerry by 50% to 40%. Among the states carried by President Bush, the margin is even wider, giving McCain a 58% to 33% lead over Clinton and 59% to 32% lead over Kerry.

McCain leads with most demographics, though Clinton would best him narrowly among Hispanic voters (45% to 38%) and would win African Americans by 80% to 19%. But that 19% would be the highest vote tally for a Republican with African Americans in decades. McCain leads Clinton with every age group except voters under 30, where the two are in a dead heat.

Which is why the nomination is his for the asking.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 24, 2005 8:51 AM

Why is this Zogby poll deemed to be any more accurate than his previous wrong projections?

Numbers about those under 30 are interesting, if true. According to other things I've read, the younger generations are less likely to lean leftward. Possible explanantion, again assuming the poll to be accurate, the under 30's never heard of either of them, but picked the female over the white European male.

Posted by: erp at June 24, 2005 9:08 AM

OJ - Only the specter of Hillary would prompt a large number of GOP primary voters to give McCain the nomination. McCain's name is dirt among the GOP faithful and unless he is seen as the only one to keep Hillary out of the WH he won't the nod.

And erp's point is valid - Zogby's polling has been pretty bad lately so why should we believe these numbers?

Posted by: AWW at June 24, 2005 9:13 AM

There is only one problem. McCain won't be the Republican nominee. However I wouldn't rule out him galloping off on a third party horse.

Posted by: Pilgrim at June 24, 2005 9:27 AM

Yes, he's only popular with everyone but blogcranks

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 9:41 AM

Now you'll make me regret that he's not going to run.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 24, 2005 10:04 AM

Against Hillary, I must confess I am a "yellow dog" Republican.

Posted by: Rick T. at June 24, 2005 10:04 AM

pataki is the man for '08. mc cain can shine his shoes or something, before the convention.

Posted by: cjm at June 24, 2005 10:05 AM

Color me a blogcrank. The man lives to be praised by the media and it seems as though he has a chip on his shoulder towards the religious since 2000. I believe that people will act on what they talk about and be lukewarm about things they don't, though they may believe. And his causes are those of the left: campaign finance reform, liberalizing immigration, etc.
When Durbin likened the military in Guatanomo to Nazis, where was McCain's courage? His boldness to stand up for what was right? He didn't say anything because Durbin is a Democrat and it wouldn't have earned him praise from the media. It could possibly have caused him scorn, oh no!

Posted by: emily b. at June 24, 2005 10:19 AM


Only inside the bubble.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 10:23 AM

I don't know how well the very thin-skinned McCain is going to deal with the inevitable attacks from the MSM, which wants the Hildebeest to win and will do anything in order to insure that it happens.

Keating Five and his very messy divorce(potential headline 'She stood by him while he was in Vietnam, and when he got home he dumped her like an old shoe') will certainly be the stuff of front pages and 60 Minutes pieces for much of 2008. They can probably find some paleo-conservative crank(I know it's redundant) who will make an utterly baseless claim that McCain did everything the NVA wanted him to, was a rat in the prison, etc. The crank will be the beneficiary of headlines reading "Even Loyal Republicans Doubt McCain's Claims of 'Heroism'". Time Magazine covers with caricatures of McCain in a Mao jacket or in the black pajamas of a Vietcong terrorist cannot be far behind. Consider how such utter nonsense like Bush's DWI 30 years ago, or his alleged non-service in the Texas Air National Guard was the stuff of primetime.

How McCain deals with such scurrilous attacks will tell us if he has the stuff to make it to November.

Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 10:37 AM

The MSM can't hold a candle to what W and Rove did to him. No one's ever heard of the Keating 5 and divorce stopped being an issue 500 years ago.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 10:45 AM

McCain would have trounced Gore in 2000, too. As you (oj) have pointed out, GOP primary voters were well aware of this, but chose ideology over electability. Why would history not repeat itself?

Posted by: b at June 24, 2005 10:46 AM

Because W can't serve a third term--it's a deferenmtial party and whoever's turn is up next wins. That's McCain this time.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 10:57 AM


Good point. McCain famously said he would beat Gore like a drum. Perhaps he would have, perhaps not. I doubt he would have fleshed out Gore's phoniness the way Bush did in the 2000 debates; instead, he would have tried to win on points (just like a Senator).

McCain has yet to exhibit the decisiveness (ruthlessness) it takes to win a nomination and a national election. The only time he speaks with such certitude is when he repudiates some of his party's core issues.

However, I note that immediately after 9/11, he said on the floor of the Senate: "May God have mercy on them [our enemies], because we won't". That is the sort of clarity that can propel him forward, but he seems intent on Senate-speak more than straight talk. That won't cut it, and it will hurt him in debates and one-on-ones. It will also hurt him with independents, who flocked to Perot because he didn't talk like a politician.

McCain is never more popular than when he is flitting around cable TV, getting in his digs at George Bush or some GOP standard. His major weakness is that he cannot run a campaign based solely on 'maverickness'.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 24, 2005 11:05 AM

^Bush almost lost the 2000 primary when, after New Hampshire, it looked like he didn't have the skills to beat Gore, and McCain was going around saying that he would "beat Al Gore like a Drum." Here's the thing: we now know that Bush/Rove is one Hell of an effective political team, especially in internal Republican politics, and it took everything they had to beat McCain. Also remember that the early polls showed Bush likely beating Gore. The early polls won't show Allen or anybody but McCain beating Hillary -- and none of the other hopefuls are Bush/Rove. And nobody is going to beat McCain in New Hampshire (which I think likes his brand), so he'll have early momentum just like last time.

Posted by: rds at June 24, 2005 11:09 AM


Interesting that we both remember the "beat Al Gore like a Drum" mantra. McCain CAN be a partisan Republican. If he pulls that out again, lots of people who've been mad at him for one thing or another over the last five years will swoon.

Posted by: rds at June 24, 2005 11:11 AM

OJ - the bubble of the blogs or the bubble of GOP machine? The bubble of the blogs you probably have a point. But there are too many stories that the GOP rank and file are not thrilled with McCain.

His call for Durbin to apologize (as linked above) was the most tepid and low key of any GOPer. And of course there was his dismissal of the Swift Vets for Truth in the 2004 election, including fellow POWs.

Jim last point is correct - the next GOP president will be needed to maintain or build on the W legacy. McCain's temperment and history has been to go against the GOP (maverick) and it will be hard for him to convince GOPers and others that he is the direction he will take.

Posted by: AWW at June 24, 2005 11:16 AM

I don't see anybody beating Hillary. She has 1000 % media support, she'll be the first woman to run for the no. 1 job (Mondale's running mate doesn't count), she is better known than all other possible contenders, she'll have more (Chinese ?) money to spend than all other candidates together...

It will be hard enough to prevent her from getting her party back to majority status in Congress. Because if she achieves that, she'll do to the GOP what Blair did to the Tories.

Posted by: Peter at June 24, 2005 11:18 AM


Then why does he poll so well among Republicans?

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 11:19 AM


Nearly any Republican will beat her--they start with 30 states.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 11:30 AM

Pataki has the charisma of David Gergen, or maybe not.

Posted by: Mike Beversluis at June 24, 2005 11:38 AM

Peter:As has been said before by I can't remember who--as long as we have the private ballot, Hillary won't be President. She'll get about 25% of the male vote, no matter what they tell their wives...

Posted by: b at June 24, 2005 11:49 AM

What did W and Rove do to McCain, aside from quote his statements to the voters? In reality it was the GOP base who organized to defeat McCain. The energy was donated to the Bush campaign, it didn't originate there.

McCain is in the center of the US political spectrum and if he can develop good relations with conservative Christians, he can win the nomination and the Presidency. But I'm not sure he can do it, any more than Howard Dean can. Both are driven by their own animosity toward politically self-defeating statements.

Posted by: pj at June 24, 2005 12:09 PM

Given a choice between those two, I still think I'd prefer to vote for the blue monkey the Losertarians nominate.

McCain may run as the heir to Bush the Younger, but he'll govern as a Bush the Elder, "read my lips", David Souter, and all. I'd much rather have St.Hillary instead of someone supposedly a "conservative/Republican" if he's doing the exact same things she would. That way we can viciously attack her (or use the Congress to obstruct her) instead of the muttered grumbling we'd be limited to with King John in charge.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 24, 2005 12:28 PM

What St.Hillary should do is not run in '008, but do whatever she can behind the scenes to get her fellow Senator elected (other than running against him), so that she can run in '012 on a platform of cleaning up the mess Mr.Maverick Ego will make (along with the inevitable GOP fatigue), with her playing Bill to McCain's Bush the Elder.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 24, 2005 12:40 PM


Your point is an interesting one. McCain would be the most interventionist president in American history. He has supported our obscene presence in Bosnia and Kosovo and in fact is on record as having wanted to increase it. One worries how many other places he would feel compelled to show the flag for no good reason.

He is no Bush the Elder though and has about as much respect for Eastern Establishment Republicanism as you or I do. The Pataki supporters on this website are the ones who should keep that worrisome prospect in their minds. What McCain is in many ways is a lineal descendant of Goldwater, someone who believes in a big military but a small government, including on many of the social issues. Just as Goldwater had little use for religious conservatives, McCain seems to as well, but it isn't because he is some kind of libertine but instead because he accepts a more frontier-style live-and-let-live philosophy. This has even less in common with the warmed over Rockefeller Republicanism of Souter or Old Bush or Gov. Pataki in his current incarnation than it does with Gary Bauer.

Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 12:48 PM


I would support McCain against Hillary if I had to, and with the tepid pool of prospects now, it would be hard to choose between McCain, who's always been conservative and pro-life but tepid, or Romney, who is saying and doing all the right things, but who has just discovered the pro-life self within. It's too far out now from the election.

The thing is, does McCain have "the stuff". The backbone of tempered steel? I want a guy who will fight for his principles when the polls and his ratings dip and who is not ashamed of religious and/or conservative people.

P.S. I was only 23 and a military wife new to S.C. in 2000, yet it was something we joked about: that McCain was going to get whalloped there. To blame it on other's machinations is to seriously underestimate how conservative the South is. It is a couple of shades more conservative than North Florida where I'm from and McCain would have been bloodies there, too.

Posted by: Emily B. at June 24, 2005 12:51 PM

all it took to drive mc cain from the race was one lost primary. i doubt that either he or hilalry will run in '08. its going to come down to two govenors slugging it out.

sure pataki is a noreast liberal republican, but he will do a much better job than mc cain, and will beat the demo candidate too.

why don't we save the "crank" moniker for whom ever is wrong, come 2008 :)

Posted by: cjm at June 24, 2005 1:03 PM


But you won't.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 1:08 PM

McCain would be the most interventionist president in American history.

And now you know why OJ supports him.

In other news--Pataki?! Please be serious. Pataki's polling in the low single digits. If we want a liberal NY Republican, we'll pick Rudy, thank you.

Posted by: Timothy at June 24, 2005 1:10 PM

all it took to drive mc cain from the race was one lost primary. i doubt that either he or hilalry will run in '08. its going to come down to two govenors slugging it out.

sure pataki is a noreast liberal republican, but he will do a much better job than mc cain, and will beat the demo candidate too.

why don't we save the "crank" moniker for whom ever is wrong, come 2008 :)

Posted by: cjm at June 24, 2005 1:12 PM

that's counterhistorical--he won in the MidWest too after losing SC

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 1:15 PM


Yes, McCain was never going to win SC, which made their scorched earth offense all the more awesome to behold.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 1:17 PM


Raise questions about his sanity.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 1:21 PM


I was every bit the Pataki supporter you are and I thought he would have been an excellent VP choice had Cheney decided to step down. However, Pataki has been almost AWOL since his last re-election and NY state government is little more than a mutual backscratching between the tax and spend leader of the Senate GOP, Anthony Bruno, and the tax and spend leader of the Assembly Democrats, Sheldon Silver. The NY taxpayer is little more than a chicken awaiting plucking. Even America's greatest newspaper, the NY Post, is killing Pataki on a daily basis.


McCain should surreptitiously pay the Democrats to question his sanity. There is probably no easier way for him to put the Democratic candidate, particularly Hillary, away than if they go after his sanity. It would implicitly bring up the stereotype of the crazed Vietnam vet, a stereotype which pretty much every American who is not in Hollywood, the MSM or a liberal arts graduate of an Ivy League school detests completely. Whatever Americans may think about the Vietnam War, they infinitely prefer those who fought it to the hairballs, dirtbags and commies who protested or ran off to Canada, or, for that matter, Oxford.

Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 1:41 PM

"questions about his sanity"

They were correct to do that. He is nuts. However I'll support anyway, if he's the nominee. Guiliani would be a much better President, but I guess that's just a minor detail in this argument.

Posted by: h-man at June 24, 2005 1:44 PM


McCain won MI with cross-over votes. But not after that.

McCain is a thundercloud right now, looming on the horizon. He is not a tested force, like Reagan was (after governing CA and winning a big re-election), or even GW Bush, who won big in 1998 and presided over big changes in TX.

I suspect if McCain is elected, he will be utterly unable to 'intervene' like people seem to think. If the GOP mewlers are shaking now, what will they do when McCain wants to put soldiers in the Balkans or in the West Bank or in Taiwan?

And what will McCain do when the pressure builds on domestic issues? Follow the template of the NYT and the rest of the media? Republicans like Bush because he shrugs off the media doesn't dance their tune. Senator Ego will be quite different. Of course, all that could change once he is inaugurated, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 24, 2005 1:51 PM


It worked.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 1:52 PM


Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 1:55 PM

Emily: Romney has been consistently pro-life, but promised that, if elected governor, he wouldn't try to change the law in Massachusetts.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 24, 2005 2:04 PM


the 2000 primaries

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 2:07 PM


I would prefer Giuliani myself. There's a lot to be said for a guy who sees criminals who rule foreign countries as no different from gang leaders and Mafia kingpins, and sees no reason to treat them gingerly.

But he is pro-choice, including partial birth abortion and pro civil union. And that will kill him in a GOP primary. Also, it would be a simple matter for a clever Democrat operative(Soros?) to finance a Buchanan-Keyes ticket to oppose Giuliani simply on the social issues and draw several percentage points away from him particularly in Southern states where there aren't a lot of people with vowels at the end of their names. One could in such a scenario see Giuliani winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college to the Hildebeest because Buchanan and Keyes take 15-20% of the Southern vote, while she/it gets 100% of the Black Southern vote, pushing her over the top in Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi.

Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 2:12 PM

A conservative Republican attacking another Republican in some states, as I don't remember it, on that issue is not the same as a liberal Democrat, who opposed the Vietnam War and whose husband 'loathed the military, criticizing a Vietnam veteran about his mental state. The outrage will be enormous, and the Hildebeest will have significant problems winning double digits among White male heterosexuals without ticking them off about the war.

In America, being compared to Rambo does not hurt.

Posted by: bart at June 24, 2005 2:16 PM

a draft-dodging Republican attacking him. Worked too.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 2:31 PM

I see the Maverick Ego as a greater threat than St.Hillary. The guy epitomizes The Stupid Party in all its glory.

St. Hillary will be checked by a GOP congress and her administration will remind everyone why Dems shouldn't and can't be trusted with executive power. Who needs a filibuster when you've got a strong majority? And her actions alone will insure there are well over 60 GOP Senators when they convene in '011. Time to pass some Constitution amendments, an area where the President doesn't matter at all.

(And for you misogynists out there, she'll probably make the idea of a woman president so unpalatable that we won't see another until at least the end of the century.)

Senator Ego, on the other hand, will spend his time in petty bickering with the Congressional leadership (i.e., his own party) because he has the soul of a Senator. He'll be more worried about what his opponents say about him than working with his party, because he'll get more praise when he's in Maverick Mode. And worst of all, he'll fail to put the Dems out of their misery, but as befitting his Stupid Party membership in good standing, find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 24, 2005 3:27 PM

Obviously Guiliani will have to grow out of his pro-abortion etc. positions. (after the trauma of 9/11 he now sees the light)

Posted by: h-man at June 24, 2005 3:29 PM


"a draft dodging republican attacking him worked too"

In all seriousness I think that is a mischaracterization of Bush. He attempted to join the Air Force and then joined a unit of the Air National Guard that had served in Vietnam.

Posted by: h-man at June 24, 2005 3:40 PM

Orrin has slurped his way through three pitchers of McCain Kool-Aid. As 2000 showed so clearly, that old man cannot win Republican primary voters. That's because he's constantly spitting on them to gain favor with the NY Times editorial board.

I don't know who the GOP nominee will be. But he won't tick off hardcore Republican voters like McCain.

Posted by: Casey Abell at June 24, 2005 3:40 PM

oj - Evidence for that? I remember it more or less as Emily did or as this fellow: http://qando.net/archives/003927.htm. McCain made a point of attacking Christian conservatives, and then when SC Christian conservatives rallied against him he accused Bush of being a master manipulator behind them and compared Bush's honesty (unfavorably) to Bill Clinton's. Looks like self-destruction to me. Bush, so far as I can recall, didn't say anything negative about McCain himself.

Posted by: pj at June 24, 2005 4:27 PM


Of course, but that's not how it's portrayed in the press.

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 4:35 PM


of course he didn't have to do it himself, but remember he appeared on-stage with the guy who accused McCain of selling out fellow POWs?

Posted by: oj at June 24, 2005 4:41 PM

Neither Hillary nor McCain will be nominated. Gulliani does't have a prayer.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 24, 2005 11:22 PM

McCain did sell out fellow POWs. And the families of the MIAs.

He's an awful person and should be retired from public service.

George Allen can pick up steam, as can Romney. Either one could easily beat Hillary! in '06.

But Rice would be the real slam dunk. Too bad she won't run.

Posted by: kynna at June 25, 2005 2:35 AM

If anyone's a slam-dunk it would be Jeb. Successful governor of a swing state that a GOP candidate would have to win, plenty of executive nous, a Southerner and married to a Latina to boot.

If it wasn't for his last name, he would be the candidate, no question about it.

Romney's good but he comes from MA. The GOP's not going to win by appealing to the Northeast. Guiliani is popular but would have to twist too much from his personal beliefs to appease GOP conservatives and it's doubtful they'd be convinced either.

Rice would make a good Veep pick but is not a serious presidential candidate. She's never won an election in her life and has no political base to speak of. Plus by the time 2008 rolls along, the Iraq fatigue factor will probably come into play. The only reason she's getting mentioned is because of her race and gender which would allow much finger-pointing and laughing at the expense of the liberal moonbats. Which would be fun but perhaps not an optimal strategy for winning the election.

I think Raoul is underestimating the damage a Hildebeast election win would create. It would be taken as a repudiation of all that was accomplished in the Dubya years.

Now McCain is quite electable but what kind of a president would he be? Like Goldwater he has little use for religious conservatives who are vital in keeping the GOP base motivated plus he is a maverick who has still not yet learned to control his temper or his tongue in public. The discipline of the GOP would probably be dissipated by unruly fractionalism.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at June 25, 2005 7:12 AM

Now McCain is quite electable but what kind of a president would he be?

Better than Hillary Clinton. A low bar to get over, to be sure.

Posted by: joe shropshire at June 25, 2005 7:05 PM

Romney and Jeb wouldn't stand up to their runaway courts. Judge Cornyn gets my vote.

Posted by: Noel at June 25, 2005 7:57 PM


Interesting point. Jeb did look pitiful through much of the Terri saga, especially since he must have known the day was coming for at least 3 years. I give him credit for not hiding behind nameless spokesmen (he did face the cameras, after all), but he was certainly cornered from day 1.

I have read that Jeb's wife wants nothing of politics. Understandable.

Cornyn? I had not thought of him. Is he close to Bush? He certainly doesn't seem flighty, like Kay Bailey. He seems well-grounded.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 25, 2005 8:48 PM

Jim - From what I have seen Laura wanted nothing to do with the presidency either. If Jeb wants to run he is running.

Posted by: AWW at June 25, 2005 11:36 PM

One final plug for Guiliani. He drives liberals and the media crazy. McCain doesn't, at least not yet.

Posted by: h-man at June 26, 2005 6:49 AM

If McCain Doesn't get the GOP nomination, he has been setting himself up for an independent run with Hagel, who has also been postioning himself for such an effort ... and they probably would win, much to my chagrin.

Posted by: Genecis at June 26, 2005 11:50 AM

An "independent" President McCain could be amusing. Especially if the GOP candidate came in second. (Would the Dems get 25%? ) How successful he would be would depend on how much he alienated the GOP Senators in his Drive to the East. I doubt he'll have any support in a GOP controlled House, does he have any there now? But if anyone can put the nail in the coffin of the idea that a "moderate" government is inherently superior to "partisan", he's the man to do it.

(Or even better scenario, he comes in third but scores just enough votes to toss things into the House, where, after a number of ballots, the Dems throw him their support to to screw over the GOP. And of course, he's saddled with a GOP Veep, so he's totally isolated.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 26, 2005 10:05 PM