Rasmussen: McCain 48, Hillary 40; McCain 47, Obama 41

posted at 12:43 pm on January 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

Also known as “the other reason to prefer McCain.” Don’t take the Obama poll too seriously: I think the only candidate left on either side who can beat him is Hillary. Like Steyn says, Romney has no narrative and a contest of “young, gifted, and black vs. old, cranky, and weathered” does not redound to our advantage. Obama’s dynamism on the stump plus the media halo he’ll be wearing plus the left’s inevitable bad-faith eagerness to turn each and every Republican criticism of him into a coded racial attack (see, e.g., the distortion of Clinton’s “fairy tale” comment) makes for very long odds. It’s Hillary or bust, baby.

So let’s take your temperature with another meaningless, predictable blog poll. You’re all angry this morning about McCain winning so we’re going to get probably ~40% voting “stay home,” even though 90% of those people will turn out for Maverick anyway after they’re fed a steady diet this summer of Democratic slanders and reminders that no, in fact, when it comes to the war — which much of the base claims is its top concern — Hillary Clinton does not equal John McCain. The CW among McCain-haters is that if we’re going to elect someone with a disastrous liberal domestic agenda we might as well make it a Democrat so that the Republican brand isn’t tainted by association. But even if you’re willing to flush Iraq down the toilet, is that true? Congress will share the blame and they’ll be deep blue, and McCain is already sufficiently vilified as a RINO within the party that any leftish moves can be dismissed as “we told you so.” If the worst comes to pass and he betrays conservatism in office, it’s not so much a fatal corruption of Republicanism as it is “proof” that centrists can’t be trusted and the next wave needs to get back to basics. And with McCain, contra Hillary, there’s at least a chance of exerting some influence over him. Yeah, he wants amnesty, but political circumstances may be such the next time it comes up that he has to veto it because he needs the support of the base on some other policy matter. None of which is to say he should be preferred to Romney, only that he should be preferred to a Democrat. But go ahead and take the poll(s) because I know you’re dying to scratch that “stay home” itch. Troops out by 2009!


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Conservatives who talk about giving the Republicans a shellacking and implementing a scorched-earth policy against them in November are disregarding the fact that we are in the middle of a war that we need to win. If this were a time of peace, I might see such a strategy as a viable limited-use tool to change the direction of the Republican Party. In an important war, one that is critical to the future course of freedom in the world, we don’t have the luxury of using this approach without putting the security of the world and our nation in jeopardy.

The fact is that this approach hasn’t served us very well during the past 30 years. If we want to change things, we need to find better ways of appealing to the conservative values in our fellow Americans and to get them on our side. The reality is that most Americans don’t particularly like negative, slash and burn approaches. If we take the scorched-earth path, they will simply move away from us, even though they may share many of our core conservative values. Intense lobbying of our leaders combined with more personal involvement in our national and local political processes is an effective way to change the system without alienating the large block of independent voters that has grown during the past 20 years.

When we attack the leaders of our own party and advocate withdrawing from active support and involvement with them via the electoral process, what message do we send to those outside the party? What message do we send to those in our own party who are near the center political fringe. Are we sending a message of inclusion and hope or are we driving them away from us by fostering an environment of negativism and intolerance?

Unless conservatives begin learning more effective use of less destructive tools like persuasion and logic with our friends and neighbors, conservatism will not take firm root in this country or anywhere else.

NuclearPhysicist on January 30, 2008 at 5:22 PM

All McCain is going to result in is him getting to do E.D. commercials in 2009.

Mitt is it.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 6:10 PM

National polls don’t mean squat! The presidency is decided by electoral votes, not total votes. Didn’t anyone learn anything from the 2000 election? I don’t even understand why they do national polls of presidential candidates – it matters precisely zero.

Seixon on January 30, 2008 at 6:14 PM

With a choice of McCain or Hillary I chose ‘Staying Home’, but I may change my mind and vote for Hillary. I will rather have someone who is evil and admits it, than have a two faced liar.

If McCain or Obama, its Obama for me. Obama is will not have the congressional support that McCain would have and we could do lots to stop Obama and his socialist endeavors.

I will not vote for McCain for any reason.

Helloyawl on January 30, 2008 at 6:23 PM

I voted yes for McCain on the poll where Fred Thompson was his VP. I’d consider voting for him if he gets a conservative VP like Thompson, but I’m not sure I’d take him otherwise.

Yes, the war is important, and he has an advantage on that issue; however, I don’t see there being much left for the president to do in Iraq by 2009. The surge did its job. We’ll likely keep a base open there, but there seems to be less reasons to do anything more than assist Iraq.

Esthier on January 30, 2008 at 7:14 PM

All this talk about supporting McCain to win the war is looney. McCain can’t beat Hillary. Besides, those Republicans willing to vote for McCain will vote for a true conservative four years from now.

Build the Wall.

doufree on January 30, 2008 at 7:53 PM

McCain is dangerous. He scares me more than any other candidate.

The man is a serial liar who has repeatedly demonstrated his opposition to both the U. S. Constitution and the rule of law.

McCain has repeatedly sworn an oath to protect the Constitution from its enemies, but has proven himself over and over again to be one of the enemies of that Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights.

McCain has ridden roughshod over the rights of state and local governments. He opposes enforcement of federal laws that he dislikes. The Lincoln Federal Savings case shows his true disdain for ethics laws and rules and belief that he is above the law.

McCain has made it clear that he will not allow the Constitution to get in his way when he believes he is right–an attitude he seems to share with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc.

Based on his record and behavior, he is not fit to hold any office of public trust.

Diane C. Russell on January 30, 2008 at 8:10 PM

MCCAIN = HITLER!

And so it beings..

Reaps on January 30, 2008 at 8:30 PM

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