October 2, 2007

Has Pawlenty Kept McCain Strong In Minnesota?

John McCain shows surprising strength in the latest Star Tribune poll. Minnesota voters have him only trailing Rudy Giuliani by five points, and eight points ahead of third-place Fred Thompson. The strong showing may have its roots in the endorsement of Tim Pawlenty, who signed onto the McCain campaign early and has remained adamant in his endorsement:

McCain's relative strength in Minnesota -- he trails Giuliani by just 5 percentage points among poll respondents -- could have several explanations, starting with the fact that Gov. Tim Pawlenty is his marquee Minnesota supporter, Hofrenning said.

"There could definitely be a Pawlenty effect at work," he said. "But we've also got a maverick streak here, going back to strong support for Perot. And he [McCain] is the pro-war, anti-Bush candidate."

In fact, the poll showed that McCain's supporters were far more likely than supporters of any other GOP candidate to disapprove of President Bush's performance.

Minnesota's importance increased earlier this summer, when the state moved its primary up to compete with other Super Tuesday states. McCain's strength in Minnesota may help convince backers that he has not failed to keep pace and may be showing signs of a comeback. He needs success stories like these in order to rebound from a difficult summer in which immigration and overspending threatened to derail his candidacy.

McCain's comeback has been predicated on two points -- the success of the surge and his ability to streamline the campaign. McCain's longtime demands for a surge in Iraq makes him look like a prophet with the success of General David Petraeus, and it makes a compelling case for McCain as Commander in Chief. The state of his campaign seems a little more muddied, with his fundraising numbers down but the efficiency much improved.

If he can start showing strength in Iowa, he may be back to where he was in January. His comeback does not appear to be vaporware now. If he can keep people like Pawlenty in the fold, he may still have some surprises left up his sleeve.


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Comments (14)

Posted by SCSoxFan | October 2, 2007 9:31 AM

Don't put too much stock in this poll. It polls adults, rather than likely (or even registered) voters and has a MOE of 9%. It's unlikely McCain has that much strength in the GOP primary electorate.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 2, 2007 10:32 AM

Maybe, it's time for a history lesson?

Abraham Lincoln was screwed over royally, by his "compatriots" inside the WHIG Party. Who got screwed over, royally, in the first place, by Henry Clay's greed. And, his willingness to throw the results of the 1824 election out the window. Or, more accurately, into da' HOUSE; where he manipulated the first ANDREW JACKSON victory; tossing the presidency to John Quincy Adams, instead. In return? Henry Clay got to sit in the Secretary of War's cabinet seat. For 4 years. Until Americans voted, again.

John Quincy Adams, by the way, was part of the "aristocracy." And, in our form of republican government; was a baton that the super-duper-rich-and-well-connected, had decided would only be shared among a "few" houses.

Well, from history, you know what happened to the WHIGS!

And, so, AT politics, Abraham Lincoln, a genius to begin with; learned all he needed to know about duplicity. And, in-fighting.

Comes the Republican Party; and Abraham Lincoln furvently wished to get rid of this "polical class." But as I said, here stood a genius. And, a man who was also wise. And, a realist.

Turns out you can't win at any political game, unless you know the antics "backstage."

All the audience knows? Happens ON STAGE, when the curtain goes up.

Okay. Applying history's lessons, here.

McPain is one of the "front-runners" in his own mind. He really did have a shot in 2000. But the Bush Family manipulated the primaries, a hell of a lot better.

Karl Rove got credit. If you think "push polls," done late in the day, are worth all that much. Because, while it changed how things were going in MANY an American election; we've got the Internet.

And, history. From which we could learn possible outcomes.

These days, McPain got enough exposure to look like the dog that he is. A man who'd be lots more comfortable among Bonkeys, than that which appeals to the MAINSTREAM.

He's way too old.

The other part of this "game?" Well, it has to do with money.

And, it's WHOLESALE. You collect lots of money; whether you're gonna win. Or not! Hillary, for instance, gets so much money shot at her; it's like water coming out of a high-pressure hose.

Why do so few, really; try to "bag" candidates, early on with money?

And, the answers will vary.

Sometimes? The media, themselves, play. It's just a game of switching funds from one hand to the other. Since marketeers and advertisers are IN on the "taking" ... just like in politics, some of the "insiders" could care less of whom they're working for ... (Sort'a like a pretty girl working for an ugly madame. As long as she has the phone lists that provide the best "trade.") Don't get lost, here, thinking love has anything to do with this stuff.

It doesn't.

And, Lincoln was the first to acknowledge that "giving jobs" to "petitioners" ... is what a president will do. That's why Lincoln ALWAYS saw those who came to him. Asking for their "pay-offs." Or "jobs." Call it what you will.

To Lincoln, this was the under-belly. It meant these were the beasts who'd carry your water, among their own crowd. WHere like union thugs, they made sure they had a crew of idiots who did their bidding.

Sounds awful?

Well, so is sausage making. You'd never even eat ONE, if you knew what was inside those skins.

Making the product tasty, however, really does make it useful.

And, you can't get away from reality, no matter how much you dream.

As to polls? The media's up on the ropes. They've run out of leadership. They're not playing "tunes" that People in the majority, feel even bares any resemblance to reality.

You'd discover how this works if you gave thoughts to affirmative action; and, how when you lack talent, you're just never, ever, gonna make it on Broadway.

Does McCain know his short-comings?

I have no idea. And, for the most part, I don't even care.

Polls ain't ultrasounds. They don't do much better than gypsies reading tea leaves. And, the art in that? Is telling the customer what he wants to hear.

McPain is a horse's arse.

And, yes. The whole senate reflects poorly.

As if there was any presidential timber among those 100 termites.

On the other hand? When you're lied to by the press? It gets your dander up.

Having your dander up keeps you from falling asleep while you're driving through this mess. Kapish?

Posted by LarryD | October 2, 2007 11:00 AM


Judicial Appointments: F

War: Mixed, supports military in the field, but would treat detainees like POWs or better. Doesn't support coercive interrogation, but expects that if it's necessary, people would do it anyway and he'd decline to prosecute afterwards; B+ and F.

Free Speech: F

And this is just off the top of my head.

McCain will not get my vote. Ever.

Posted by l ertel | October 2, 2007 11:18 AM

McCain hates his base...spits in their face. He is self-serving and he can't gain because he is so transparent. No excitement for this candidate.

Posted by jay | October 2, 2007 11:25 AM

Minnesota's primary won't count for much. McCain will be gone before our primary.

Posted by JAF | October 2, 2007 12:08 PM

Agreed- no way McCain makes it past fifth place in Iowa, third place in New Hampshire, and third place in Michigan. Not to mention he has no real money and will have to abide by Federal spending limits since he has to take matching funds.

Posted by John | October 2, 2007 1:13 PM

Interesting, Mitt is making no impression in MN. He has spent little or no money here of course, but we have seen him in the debates and in the news. And of course Hugh Hewitt plugs him relentlessly on his show, so he is not a complete unknown.

Newsweek's cover story this week wonders if Mitt can connect with voters, he csome across as not having a heart nor a history, plus sounding like an MBA powerpoint presentation.

Posted by Ken Hahn | October 2, 2007 2:03 PM

McCain would need several miracles to become competitive. He won't get them. Pawlenty is a good soldier. His general is not worth his support.

Posted by Oldgoat | October 2, 2007 2:28 PM

Nobody needs to worry about the Minnesota presidential primary: there isn't one. Minnesota selects its convention delegates at party caucuses.

Posted by Bombast | October 2, 2007 2:33 PM

If McCain is the nominee, I will crawl over broken glass to vote against him.

I don't think I can bring myself to vote for Hillary. But I'll write in Snoopy the Dog.

He's been at war with the GOP longer than we've been at war with the Islamists.

Posted by arch | October 2, 2007 2:43 PM

I voted for John in the 2000 republican primary in NY. He has a teriffic war record. Don't think I could have stood the torture. Of course, I'm so obnoxious the NVA would probably have shot me.

My problem with McCain is that he was a member of the gang of 14 and tried to compromise on amnesty.

Posted by Christoph | October 2, 2007 3:04 PM

Ed, I know you want to be nice to all the R candidates so you can invite them here and give them a soapbox... but read your comments.

McCain's finished. Period. End of story.

Posted by Hollowpoint | October 2, 2007 4:27 PM

Star Tribune polls aren't worth the paper they're printed on- they're notoriously inaccurate, always overpolling Democrats and rarely corresponding to actual election results, even those they take shortly before the election.

Note the margin of error- 9 points for Republicans. That's not a poll, it's a wild guess.

Posted by LarryD | October 3, 2007 9:48 AM

Arch, McCain's worse than you remember. McCain wasn't just a member of the gang of 14, he was the instigator who organized it.

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