February 4, 2008


McCain the candidate of choice? (Jonathan Martin, Feb 4, 2008, Politico)

In every state since New Hampshire where exit polls have asked voters what was more important, a candidate’s position on the issues or a candidate’s leadership and personal qualities, McCain has won among those who said that character mattered more than policy stances.

And he’s not just winning among voters motivated by strength of character - he’s blowing away the competition. With the exception of Michigan, he's enjoyed a double-digit margin over his rivals among this subset. And even in Michigan, which he lost to Mitt Romney by nine points, McCain still outpaced the former Massachusetts governor by four points on the question of personal qualities versus leadership.

But there is another key bloc identified though exit polls in which McCain is consistently doing well, and which goes even further to explain his success: older voters.

Combined with McCain’s advantage among moderate and moderately conservative voters, the picture becomes clear and appears altogether simple: McCain stands at the threshold of finally winning his party’s nomination because he has been embraced by voters who mirror him.

Like the man, they are pre-baby boomer Americans who, because of their generation, are right of center politically and culturally.

The defining feature of those who passionately oppose him is certainly their immaturity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 4, 2008 11:32 AM

Then what is the defining feature of those that passionately support him? The MSM for example? McCain will keep conservatives home in droves.

Posted by: LastRealAmerican at February 4, 2008 12:24 PM

I had read elsewhere that McCain also polls unusually well among young (20-30) voters. I suspect what we have here (and on the Dem side) is less young vs. old than "Everbody hates the Boomers".

Posted by: Mike Earl at February 4, 2008 12:28 PM

"Passionately" being the key word here.

There is much to oppose about McCain but the passion is out of balance..

That's just a goofy article to cite too as OJ admits that McCain's "character" and "personality" is the key defect of the candidate.

Posted by: Benny at February 4, 2008 12:57 PM

Last Real American:
Given that you are, apparently, the Last Real American (now that John Ford has died, I guess) could you explain why the rest of us faux-Americans should give a damn about what you think?
Don't you think that, by insulting people, you are not making any headway in your efforts to convince us that you're right? It's actually a very Liberal tactic, now that I think of it.

Posted by: Bryan - A Fake American at February 4, 2008 1:04 PM


This isn't about "defining features." This is what happens when you get good press from sources that do not start with FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh.

That, and it helps McCain that the GOP is "next-in-line" oriented. Check the results of 1964 for evidence of what happens when the GOP breaks from that.

Posted by: Brad S at February 4, 2008 1:13 PM

"McCain will keep conservatives home in droves."

Says who? Rush and Hannity and the other "movement conservatives" ? The same guys who shilled shamelessly for Romney going into SC? Whose two most hated candidates, McCain and Huckabee, garnered 70% of the conservative vote, and left the supposed "conservative" Romney a "strong fourth", behind barely sentient Thompson?

In all national polls, McCain is polling about 85%-6% among Republicans, about 42%-38% among Independents, and about 15%-80% among Democrats. If he can lose 6% Rep votes and gain 15% Dem votes, while splitting the Indies, there is no way he is not winning the presidency. It is numbers like these that keep him competitive against the Dems right now. That is why both the Dems and the "movement conservatives" fear him the most. The Dems, because he wiil beat them handily. The m'movement conservatives", because he will win without them, and thus reveal their hollowness.

Posted by: sam at February 4, 2008 1:33 PM

John McCain= New England Patriots
Mitt Rommey= New York Giants

......nahh forget it.

Posted by: h-man at February 4, 2008 1:37 PM

His character is sterling. His temperament is ill-suited to the presidency, like TR, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon, & Clinton.

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 3:36 PM

Those who support him are Republicans.

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 3:44 PM


I'm a long-time McCain supporter, but I remember you saying something along the lines of "Every member of Congress who voted for McCain-Feingold and President Bush for signing it should all be impeachable for supporting such an unconstitutional measure."

In your mind, why couldn't something like that justify a passionate opposition to McCain?

Posted by: Matt Cohen at February 4, 2008 5:41 PM


"he will win without them, and thus reveal their hollowness"

Huh, a man who panders to the liberal media, uses Republicans including the President as a punching bag in order to gain public adulation from Chris Matthews, is going to show our hollowness.

He will adequately reach out to conservatives and I'll vote for him, but please spare me.

OJ is right, it is important for Republicans and "conservatives" to make winning habit forming with the public. McCain is flawed, but very few people will abandon him. (Nixon is a great comparison, but hopefully McCain will not be nearly as statist. Conservatives should still be able to get the Supreme Court they need)

Posted by: h-man at February 4, 2008 6:16 PM

h-man: With all due respect, if McCain wins (which seems more likely than not), he will govern as he has legislated. Look for CFR II, CIR II, and beyond. He will provide the same caliber of judges as he has voted. He will get almost anything passed with the help of Democrats and moderate Republicans. Remember the "Gang of 14"? Fris sat on the nominations of Pryor, Brown and Owens for how long, 3 years? Within weeks, he had all of them on the bench.

Posted by: sam at February 4, 2008 7:28 PM


Because it's only one rather trivial issue. Did you vote against W in 2004?

Posted by: oj at February 4, 2008 8:54 PM

Knowing when to stroke senatorial egos, and where, is not a bad thing. Remember, LBJ got his domestic priorities through congress. It was the war that dropped him. Somehow, I do not think that John McCain will hang the military out to dry.

And to me, that is the most important point.

Posted by: Mikey at February 4, 2008 10:00 PM

McCain doesn't pander to the media. He uses it.

Posted by: Chris K at February 5, 2008 3:12 PM

McCain doesn't pander to the media. He uses it.

Posted by: Chris K at February 5, 2008 3:16 PM