The Times of London lost track of the calendar yesterday in their analysis of the presidential campaign. Sarah Baxter claims that John McCain may drop out of the race after the latest fundraising numbers come out next week, as pundits predict another lackluster quarter for McCain's campaign. Did they notice that it's still only June?
THE former presidential front-runner, John McCain, may drop out of the 2008 race by September if his fundraising dries up and his poll ratings continue to drop, according to Republican insiders.
The speculation, vigorously denied by McCain’s camp, is sweeping Republican circles after a disastrous few weeks in which the principled Arizona senator has clashed with the party’s conservative base on immigration and also alienated independent voters by backing President George W Bush’s troop surge in Iraq.
Randy Pullen, chairman of the Arizona Republican party, said: “He’s a battler, so I’d expect him to carry on, but everyone is waiting to see what his new fundraising totals are. That’s pretty critical. If he doesn’t have the money, he won’t be able to run.” ...
Dan Schnur, McCain’s communications director during the 2000 presidential campaign, said it was “possible” that he could drop out: “There are all sorts of challenges McCain is facing, from fundraising to Fred Thompson and the Iraq war, but the biggest single boulder in his path is the immigration issue.”
Given the state of the race, I find these predictions rather odd McCain's support may have dropped over the immigration bill, but his position on immigration has always been widely known in the GOP. His numbers have drifted to the low double-digits, but he still remains in the top tier for Republican candidates, and with Rudy dropping, the race has widened, not narrowed.
McCain probably decided to push the bill now precisely to give himself more time to recover from the hit he knew he'd take with it. McCain wouldn't be alone in that regard, either; everyone on Capitol Hill wants this off the table one way or another before they have to start running for re-election, too. That's why the backers wanted such a rush on debate, and the opponents have slowed it down to increase the pressure on waverers to move away from the compromise.
We have almost seven months before the first primary. That's longer than the campaigns have operated thus far in 2007. No one has even reached the half-way wark, and one major candidate (Fred Thompson) hasn't even entered the race yet. McCain has plenty of time to regroup and attempt to make up lost ground.
Even more obviously, seven Republican candidates would kill for McCain's position in the race at the moment. None of the second-tier candidates have dropped out yet, nor have they given any indication of doing so. Why would McCain drop out when he's still outpolling and outraising Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee, let alone lesser lights such as Tom Tancredo, Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, and Sam Brownback -- combined?
I don't think McCain will get the nod, but he's not finished yet. McCain has weathered tougher situations than a mid-campaign slump. Anyone expecting him to quit while polling 11% nationwide in June is indulging in earlyitis. (via Memeorandum)