April 22, 2007

McCain Falters In Former Stronghold (Updated)

John McCain will formally announce his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential nomination in South Carolina next week, but the state's Republicans made it clear he should have showed up this week. Instead of appearing for the party's straw poll yesterday, McCain sent former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating -- and South Carolina sent him a third-tier finish:

The weekend before Arizona Sen. John McCain makes his official presidential announcement in South Carolina, polls show he's not popular with local Republican voters.

The Republican parties in Greenville, Spartanburg and Richland counties held conventions Saturday, where the candidates had the chance to speak and voters participated in polls. McCain did not attend and opted to send former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating to appear in his place. Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram blamed McCain's absence for his poor showing.

"I thought that McCain missing these South Carolina conventions was a major error in his strategy," Beltram said. "I don't understand what [McCain's strategists] were thinking. McCain is coming here next week to announce that he's running for president, and the newspapers have stuff about him doing so poorly in the straw polls. It is beyond me what their strategy was."

McCain finished far below the pack in the three straw polls taken. In Spartanburg, he finished last, trailing behind people like Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson in Greenville for sixth place. Richland voters gave him a fourth-place tie with Mike Huckabee.

In 2000, McCain had a strong base of support among South Carolina Republicans. He came close to derailing George Bush in that state, and his loss prompted complains about a smear campaign against the Arizona Senator. As one of the early primary states, McCain needs that base of support again in 2008, which is why he selected the state for his official announcement.

This early in the campaign, straw polling doesn't mean a lot. McCain has plenty of time to repair whatever damage he did by skipping this round of polling. However, the results clearly show that he has some ground to regain in South Carolina.

UPDATE: McCain has, of course, won a number of these polls in the past, and normal polling shows McCain competing for the top spot in the state. Straw polls generally take the temperature of the activists in the local party, and they probably didn't care much for McCain's failure to include the event in his schedule.


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Comments (8)

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 9:19 AM

McCain offers us a "stalwart" that over and over again played footsie with the other side (the Democrats) at crunch time. No thanks. That's not the kind of stalwart we need. His steady support of victory in Iraq is great, but it's not unique among Republicans, and it's not enough to make up for his other mistakes. Who's done more to make George Soros a political kingmaker today than John McCain? Nobody.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 1:17 PM

McCain alienated too many of the people he needed for support long ago.

On Iraq, he simultaneously gets no credit from a) the war's supporters, who suspect McCain's sincerity and have more stalwart candidates on other issues anyways, and b) the war's opponents, who are aghast that their "man in the GOP" seems so cravenly in support of a war they dislike so much.

Now, to be disliked by one half of the war debate, that's no problem. To be disliked by both -- that takes skill!


Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 1:22 PM

McCain is polling from 25-30% in the SC GOP statewide after winning 42% in 2000 - albeit with the help of many crossover Democrats. That's not exactly a sign of strength, is it? To be running 12-17 points BEHIND his last, LOSING effort?

The best McCain can hope for from the SC primary is that his personal valet, Lindsey Graham, doesn't lose the Senate nomination to Thomas Ravenel. Who would wash out McCain's socks and undies THEN?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 1:45 PM

What's this?

Sound bites on the political futures of some politicians? Doesn't God teach ya not to make bets on what happens t'marra? T'marra belongs to the UNKNOWN to us. Probably not to the Man Upstairs; because he understands Chaos Theory better.

Today' NY Post has an opinion piece by George Will. Another one of these pundit wonders who talks through his "third eye." Located somewhere inside every individual's rectum, is a hope that they're "reading the future." (Glad at least we know what the temperature, down under, should be. To reflect "normal.")

Anyway, in George Will's myopic view. Tommy Thompson is the candidate with the resume, who can win the "upper Mississippi states." Wisconsin. Iowa. Ohio, And, Missouri.

He even goes back to 1908, in his quest to gather statistics. He says "he who does not hold the key to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, must be sure and get Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin's voters.

Do you remember Tommy Thompson? Selected by Bush to run Homeland Security, I think?

Didn't he have Dan Quayle's eyes? That look of a deer caught in the headlights?

Am I missing something?

Are pundits in politics like Hedda Hopper was to Hollywood's stars? Those stories were fakes!

But if you gave Hedda a hat, she'd wear it out in public. Just for you.

It's way too early to tell what fate has in store.

What I do see, now, though, is that republicans; (let's just call them people who voted for Bush, and/or Reagan), but who have no particular reasons to be labelled as GOP party members ...

Wouldn't you say, this is what's making up the mainstream?

Sure. In the past. Smoke filled rooms brought party honchos together to make their candidate "picks" while chomping on cigars.

Even then, nothing's perfect.

Theodore Roosevelt was picked to be McKinnley's veep, back in 1898. McKinnley's first term veep may have died in office. I don't remember. But Roosevelt, Teddy, here. Was picked to run for McKinnley's re-election. HE CRIED! He said the thieves in New York State PURPOSELY took him, while he was still young, and threw him into the spitoon of "veep land," because he was a crusader. In New York politics.

He did the will of the party, just the same.

Nice the way fate catches up with ya, though.

Fate's also what makes horse racing interesting.

McCain seems old to me. On my own personal scale, where back in 1988 I wanted the GOP to nominate McCain; through the shinanigans worked on the primary race in New Hampshire, that was not to be.

So we got Bush #41. Gulf War 1 did not impress Americans. So the elder Bush got butt kicked out of office.

In 1998, Dubya went to Prince Bandar. It seems he needed the "support" of this bastard, to be able to run for the presidency. HE GOT IT!

But in 2000 Dubya really didn't have a victory; he had something of a "selection process."

And, the right got into a very bad habit of calling the left names.

That's why I'm glad I read Doris Kearn Goodwin's book, TEAM OF RIVALS. Because she goes to show ya, that Lincoln was NOT a favorite going into the WHIG-wam. But he knew, even from 4th place, that his 3 competors, above, had smelly asses.

They had their supporters. And, a vile hatred for their competion. Lincoln? He hardly registered with them. Because they didn't think he'd win the nomination.

But the top guy fell short. And, overnight; Lincoln's supporters worked with each separate state at the convention.

Do you know what he showed those experienced insiders? That their favorite candidate could not win. They couldn't carry ALL the states!

While Lincoln, POLISHED HIS IMAGE, the way, later, Ronald Reagan would. By travelling around and talking to any group that would have him.

And, then, of course, catelogging the famous debates with the democrat, Stephen Douglas.

In those days, back then, Shakespearian actors were popular, too. Also going around, to every state, because all had small theaters. Say what you will. But starting in the early 1800's, Americans loved coming together in groups. To hear talk. Or to see plays. And, back then, even Minstrel Shows got to have solid footing.


Lincoln, in 1860, had a national reputation. And, he could get lots of votes. ACROSS THE BOARD. It was that argument that worked. When, the three top favorites fell by the wayside; each group, in turn, supported Lincoln. Insiders? Usually want the candidate that WINS. Because in politics that's the prize. That's your ticket to walk to the window, and collect "something."

You don't like it? Well, what do you think governments are all about, anyway?

Here? I don't think McCain's convinced enough insiders that he can win. And, without they're support he comes up short. He lacks the weight, so to speak, that would make him a heavier-contender.

Guiliani? I've read that he's got 4 states LOCKED up. And, Ohio is among them. So is California and Pennsylvania. And, I'm throwing in "favorite son" status for New York.

Of course, he has to remain healthy! Ditto, McCain. And, FRED Thompson. Nobody's given guarantees in that department. Nobody has yet proved they can live forever, either.

While Bush's support? It got to be low.

Nope. Has nothing to do with Dan Rather. Or Harry Reid. Has something to do with the growing suspicions, though, that are many fronts Bush is not a nice guy! Heck, he went to fight for Gonzales? And, not for Libby? Hmm.

In Iraq, where there was no religious terror PRIOR to our "gun battles" there; it seems Bush was hot to turn over the keys to the "kingdom." Hasn't made a single friend in the process.

We're getting resistance. But on one is talking.

It's as if there's a card game going on, and all you see are people blowing smoke. I'd like more information. But whose gonna come out and give it?

With the Internet, at least, I know I'm not altogether on my own. Others, too, are searching for answers. Too bad the barn's full of bullshit. And, there's no pony in sight.

On the other hand? Guiliani doesn't seem to be making any enemies in other camps. Lincoln proved the value of this attitude. And, so, too, did Reagan.

Now? We wait and listen. And, hope.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 1:58 PM

SInce history lessons are wonderful;

And, for what it's worth.

The reason STEPHEN DOUGLAS drops from sight, after Lincoln wins in 1860 ... is that he DIED.

He held Lincoln's had at the March 1861 innagural.
Why? Because he became one of Lincoln's strongest, and first, fans.

But he died in July of 1861. Not enough time given to Douglas by the Man Upstairs.

That's how it works. When you look back and observe the wand of fate, "working."

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 22, 2007 3:14 PM

If you were Harry Reid. Or even James Carville. What would you be making of 2008?

The elections don't seem to be falling to any particular democrap. Especially if Fat Albert Gore goes and loses weight. To run against a REAL CONDENDAH, selected to win MAINSTREAM, and not boondoggle down in the swamp land of the right's special interests groups.

I'd bet that the donks see a problem. One where they can't sway a large majority of the electorate. Not now. With "powers" residing in so many abysmal characters. From Obama to Hillary.

In politics, parties have been there, before.

That's why, when Nixon got IN, in 1968; and the donks recognized this BIG PROBLEM OF THERE'S: They can't get into the White House as easily as the GOP does.

They came up with a game plan to divest the presidency of its powers. And, to usurp them.

Hello. That's the world of politics. INSIDERS thrive on powers. Those that get left out? Are called "voters." Or they're called "the opposition."

Ya haven't got much to show for your special-interest voting records, now have you?

So, what's ahead in 2008?

Again, I'm not Harry Reid. And, I'm not James Carville. I'm just a member of the mainstream. Who thinks BOTH PARTIES lost their ways.

But what are my options?

I think in the minds of people who are paid BIG BUCKS to "advise" candidates how to stay in office; there's plenty of psychology to schmear around, with the big lobbyists' bucks.

The donks WANT a 50/50 split. They do more business that way. And, it keeps them closer to the porkster's tits.

Even when Reagan got into office, the donks learned how to play their version of HARD BALL.

If you're gonna watch prize-fighting among heavy-weights, at least you should have some guidance in how the judges award points.

Most people? As I said. Are disgusted. And, out on their own, inside the mainstream.

While the system, itself? Has gone a long way in supporting special interests.

Of course, this wasn't supposed to include giving benefits to the House of Saud!

That's why the CIA "invented" the CAVE MAN.

Believe what you want. But up ahead is the way the system works. Even if a state comes close to "splitting voters along 50/50" lines.

As Hugh Hewitt says. In close elections, the donks get the advantages. The dead vote. And, lots of good votes are tossed out. To make such crimes less likely? Lots of people have to vote, together.

And, special interests, by definition, doesn't cater to much of an audience. Just niches.

Posted by zongqua [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 23, 2007 3:46 AM

Back in the mid 80's McCain was good enough to get elected, but then he started fooling around with Keating and Its a wonder he's still a senator let alone running for president . I can still remember the jokes about him at the Arizona County Club. As things stand now, the pajamas media polls dont rank him as a viable candidate and I dont understand why some conservatives still waste time talking about him.

Posted by TheHat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 23, 2007 6:20 AM

The Gangster of 14 need not apply for the job of President as a Republican. He should do so under his true colors: Socialist Leftest.