In a year where Democrats hold all the obvious cards: an unpopular 2 term Republican in the Whitehouse; an long war, that, even though it seems to have plateaued, remains unpopular; a faltering economy; the continuing avalanche of bad press for Republicans; the supposed rift between McCain and the conservative Republican base; the phenomenal fundraising and enthusiasm generated by the Obama campaign; the new voters supposedly brought in by the prospect of the first woman or the first black president; the cheerleading and softballing of Dems by the press while they excoriate McCain constantly- all these factors should add up to negative numbers for the Republican in the race.
It is early, but these poll numbers are nothing less than amazing in the face of the forementioned political climate:
Looking ahead to the General Election in November, John McCain continues to lead both potential Democratic opponents. McCain leads Barack Obama 50% to 41% and Hillary Clinton 49% to 42% (see recent daily results).
On Monday, McCain is viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 42%. Obama’s reviews are 46% favorable and 52% unfavorable. For Clinton, those numbers are 42% favorable, 55% unfavorable (see recent daily results).
These numbers can’t make McCain’s campaign unhappy, and can’t possibly be good news for the Dems.
There are a couple good reasons McCain is bucking the many negatives arrayed against him: Obama and Hillary.
Contrary to liberal Democrats’ claims that they are so over-joyed having two very strong candidates who are equally acceptable to all Dems, its shaking out that the long bitter contest is making the opposing camps unreconcilable. And, contrary to what “whistling past the graveyard” Dem bloggers have averred, that a long campaign is good for the Dems, keeping them in the news and McCain out, and keeping their supporters energized, instead is upping the negatives on both Dem candidates as they pummel each other.
The fact is, the Dems don’t have two very strong candidates. For the Dem primaries, sure. Either would win in a walk if the other wasn’t around. But both are fatally flawed to the general electorate: working class Dems won’t vote for a black guy, especially now that he has been exposed as another member of the race-baiting victimhood cult of Jackson and Sharpton.
And a good section of the electorate detests Clinton and wants nothing of a Clinton restoration.
Even without this long, contentious battle, neither candidate would have had an easy fight against McCain. Against all odds, the Republicans nominated the man the Dems most fear, and who is most likely to snatch Democrat voters. And, given the negatives of both Obama and Hillary, its very likely McCain could win in an electoral landslide, taking “blue” states not won since Reagan or Bush/Dukakis.
His military creds are impeccable, and I personally still feel the WOT is the most important issue, even over the economy. Most Americans realize that the economy is cyclical and these things come and go. At any rate, the president can do little to really help (and an interfering Democrat can do much to hinder) economic rhythms improve in the real world.
Early polls are very sketchy, but before McCain has even started up the vaunted “Republican Attack Machine” both Dems hold high negatives and he leads by nearly double digits on both of them. That’s damn sure not a bad place to start.
We are a 50-50 country and things will shake out in a few months to a close election, the only kind we are going to have for a while as the parties recalibrate their messages to move to the center when they lose a few points (as the Dems did in ’06 after ’04, no mention of gay marriage, no mention of gun control, etc), but right now McCain, as the establishment and status quo candidate, should be preparing to play catch-up, not protecting a small lead.
We are very likely to see the 50-50 parity version of a landslide, judging by McCain’s early lead. Obama is much more flawed then Dems seem to be able to realize or admit. There are vast swathes of American blue collar whites that are not going to vote for a very liberal candidate, let alone one who identifies so strongly with black victimhood and white perfidy, after the Wright revelations.
UPDATE: Panic at the Disco?