The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Monday, March 20, 2006

McCain = Frontrunner

Despite the recent events at SRLC, Arizona Senator John McCain still has to be considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2008. The Baltimore Sun has a great article today about McCain's strategy and what has changed since 2000.

While I am a die-hard George Allen supporter, I think that McCain should be considered the strongest general election candidate for the GOP. Against a Democratic nominee that looks increasingly likely to be either Hillary Clinton or Al Gore, McCain would wipe the floor with either. In addition, McCain furthers the "Southwest Strategy" that will be necessary for GOP candidates to continue winning national elections. It is essential that the GOP keep the fast-growing states of Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada in the GOP column and remain competitive in New Mexico. McCain gives the GOP the best chance in those states and essentially reduces the "battleground" area to the Rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Again, I'll be casting my primary vote for George Allen, but Virginia is not likely to be a battleground state in '08 unless the remote possibility of Mark Warner grabbing the Democratic nomination comes to fruition. If McCain wins the nomination, Republicans should support him, particularly those who have been frustrated by the big-spending proclivities of the Bush administration.


Blogger CR UVa said...

Why do you think McCain will be the strongest? A lot of his support does appear to come from some outside of the Republican party, but will that last if he tries to appease the base when it comes time to vote (which he will likely need to do)?

If he does, liberals and "centrists" will again associate him with the conservative right, and he will lose support when the general election starts. He might be able to beat Hillary, but I honestly think we will see another close race if he goes up against Gore.

If he does not, most people who vote in primaries are further to the right (or left in Democratic primaries) than the Republican party as a whole. I suspect that they will not be too keen on voting for McCain, and he will lose miserably before even making the general election. So much for even having a shot against Hillary or Al.

3:07 PM

Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

1. If McCain gets the nomination, he has a 99% chance of winning election - and that's even with the right-wing third party challenge that his candidacy will likely bring.

2. McCain has no chance of getting the nomination. Forget the fact that he constantly votes with Democrats against spending cuts (unless they involve pork). Forget the fact that he opposes tax cuts. And forget the fact that he's (at worst) lukewarm on gay rights and has trashed the religious right.

McCain's worst sin - the sin that will make it physically impossible for both he and Giuliani to get the nomination - is on immigration.

McCain supports amnesty. No chance he wins the Republican primary.

His lead in the polls right now is due to name recognition and nothing else.

3:18 PM

Blogger GOPHokie said...

For once I 100% agree with VC.
McCain is unbeatable in a general election and has very little chance of getting the GOP (or dem) nomination.

4:18 PM

Anonymous Freddie said...

The biggest problem with McCain among Republicans I talk to is the Campaign Finance Reform bill. But otherwise, I agree with VC.

4:59 PM

Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

And another from the 'amen' corner. McCain won't get the nomination.

5:20 PM

Blogger James Young said...

McCain obviously has strong negatives and strong positives. He's a war hero, and rendered yeoman's service for the President in 2004. Nevertheless, he clearly despises the First Amendment (campaign finance "reform"), and gratuitously urinates in the face of Conservatives. I agree that he would probably win, but he's probably too old to lead the GOP ticket.

10:58 PM

Anonymous NOVA Scout said...

McCain has impressed me for years, but age and health could be issues. His best window of opportunity was 2000. I would have welcomed his leadership in the post 9/11 years. As much as I admire him for many things, I would be concerned about his ability to serve two terms.

8:28 AM


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