February 26, 2008


Democratic Governors See McCain As Formidable: They Cite His Life Story, His Appeal to Independents (Dan Balz, 2/26/08, Washington Post)

"To quote President Bush, McCain is never to be misunderestimated," said Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, McCain's home state. "He's a tough campaigner."

"In some ways," said Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a state that is considered a must-win for any Democratic nominee, "he's the ideal [Republican] candidate for Pennsylvania." [...]

"He is appealing in Michigan," said Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who supports Clinton. "He does appeal to independent thinkers -- at least he did in the past -- and we have a lot of those in Michigan. Whoever the Democrat is, Michigan is a state where we're going to have to work."

Rendell, also a Clinton supporter, said McCain can compete for votes in southeastern Pennsylvania, where suburban voters generally favor abortion rights, and in western Pennsylvania, where many strongly oppose abortion.

"He's going to contest for those suburban voters that have been delivering Pennsylvania to Democratic presidential candidates for the last four elections," Rendell said. "He will be the strongest Republican to contest for their votes. And he does it without sacrificing the ability to go after conservative, pro-life Democrats in the western part of the state."

Napolitano, who backs Obama, acknowledged that with McCain as the GOP nominee, Democrats may face a stiffer challenge in winning Rocky Mountain states that have voted Republican in most recent elections but whose changing demographics make them Democratic targets.

The only way this presidential campaign could have been lost is if Republicans had followed the party intellectuals and voted for Rudy or Mitt.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2008 7:23 AM

What intrigued me were that so many people who claimed that they were the Republican base could not get the candidate they wanted nominated.

I think that is evidence to conclude that they aren't quite the 'base' they thought they were and were rather a fringe.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2008 9:13 AM

I saw earlier today that something like 43% say they'll definitely vote vs Obama (Maverick's is only 33%).

That's pretty significant at this stage, particularly since McCain hasn't even begun to define Obama yet, and makes it prohibitively difficult for Obama to get to 51%.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Jim: When was the last time any Democrat got 51%?

Posted by: b at February 26, 2008 12:13 PM


1976, but that doesn't mean that it will never happen again.

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2008 1:08 PM

Brandon: Of course not. The next time the Dems nominate a conservative Southern governor and no third party candidate runs, they might get a majority again.

Posted by: b at February 26, 2008 2:35 PM

Actually, Carter's 1976 vote was only 50.1%. The last Democratic vote 51% or above was LBJ in 1964.

And those days, like the New Deal coalition and the pre-68 party, are gone.

Posted by: Kelly at February 27, 2008 7:29 PM