Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Did you know that John McCain only got 73% of the vote in the Pennsylvania primary?

The media is barely mentioning it. The blogs have laughed at it, but haven't really dove in. But it might be really important.

Think about it. Running virtually unopposed, the Republican presumptive nominee somehow didn't get 27% of the voters. What's more amazing, this 27% - that's 220,000 people - bothered to drive to their polling place and cast their vote for someone who could not ever hope to win the nomination, all to thumb their nose at John McCain.

McCain has been the only candidate in the Republican race for almost a full two months, yet 16% of this group voted for Ron Paul and 11% voted for Mike Huckabee!

These statistics should perk up the ears of Democrats. Even with ample time to consolidate the base - and with ample flip flopping on the issues - John McCain still can't get almost a third of the Republican party in Pennsylvania to board the "straight talk" express. And there is reason to think those voters might never get on the bus.

Ron Paul voters, driven by anti-war and anti-federal reserve sentiment, will never agree with McCain's hawkish foreign policy or schizophrenic economics. Huckabee voters will never believe a divorcee who's admittedly shy about his faith is the spiritual conservative they've been waiting for. These people might vote for Democrats in November, or they might at least stay home.

But only if we make them.

You see, McCain's a smooth talker, and people tend to believe what he says. (For the life of me, I can't figure out why.) Given enough time and enough party surrogates and conservative media backing him, John McCain can solidify the Republican base, at least to some significant extent.

We should make sure this doesn't happen.

In 2004, Ralph Nader was funded by wealthy Republican donors to try and sabotage John Kerry's candidacy. There's no reason we can't sabotage McCain's.

I'm not saying large donations to Bob Barr or any other third party candidate is quite the way to go. Ron Paul supporters, for example, aren't lying down yet - they will be a presence at the Republican convention. Actions as simple as making sure the candidacies of Paul and Huckabee aren't forgotten in the media and in American society might be enough. Perhaps Democrats (especially those that go on TV) could bring up Ron Paul at every turn, making sure people remember he's still in the race. Maybe they could constantly compare McCain's faith to Huckabee's. Whatever it is, I do feel Democrats should be thinking about a coordinated campaign of some sort.

So, I'm open to suggestions: How can Democrats make sure McCain doesn't get this 27% to vote for him?

Tags: 2008 election, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul (all tags)

Comments

41 Comments

Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Funny you should mention that.  I just drove 300 miles accross PA today, and about 100 miles into it I thought I wouldn't be able to stand looking at any more Ron Paul signs than I already had.  They are along the road, in fields, in woods.  They're still up by the 10s of millions.  Seriously, its a little scary.  Every day leading up to the primary, more and more of them appeared where I live and I heard a couple of radio commercials for him.  I thought Ron Paul was dead in the water, but apparently he has some very devoted super secretive sub culture types that do his bidding at night, because I only saw one guy standing along the highway the morning of the primary on the way to work.  He was standing there, alone, holding a very large Ron Paul sign.  What is up with his activity.  Does he hope to have an impact of somekind on the Republican platform?

I don't know how we could get their votes.  I think that the Democratic party or any established party for that matter, is way too establishment for them.  They are obviously a brand unto themselves.  I can't see them voting for McCain either, but when it comes down to it.  Repulicans are pretty obedient to their party.

by Scotch 2008-04-27 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Interesting story.

I can see some Ron Paul folks voting with Democrats, if only on the war issue. Not all, but certainly some. But honestly, if they vote for anyone but McCain, that's good for us.

As for their long term goal, yeah, I think they want to be a force within the Republican party, much like progressives are a force within the Democratic party. Whether they will be able to actually do that is another question...

by J Ro 2008-04-27 05:11PM | 0 recs
Go cry, Paulstinian-kid

by ragekage 2008-04-27 05:50PM | 0 recs
Don't mean to spoil your fun, honest!!!!

But if you look at any other election like this with only one real candidate the vote is normally in the 70's or 80's....never the 90's or 100%... the only time and place that happeneded was Russia under Stalin or other dictatorships.

I wish it meant a lot...it may mean a little...I would have expected the low 80's.

by debcoop 2008-04-27 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't mean to spoil your fun, honest!!!!

I haven't looked, but if you have some links to back up the claim, I'd love to take a look.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't mean to spoil your fun, honest!!!!

Late but here's alink to the NY State board of Elections.

Look at some of th elong term incredibly popular Congressman like Jerry Nadler and Charlie Rangel...It's 2006, Jerry is my representative and he got 76% of the vote.  sometimes he gets a little above 8o%.  /A

It's a normale number....as long as there is even one other person on the ballot.

http://www.elections.state.ny.us/NYSBOE/ elections/2006/general/2006_cong.pdf

by debcoop 2008-05-05 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

lets not make the mistake to think that Paul endorses Paul, that all or the vast majority of his voters are gonna come from McCain. People who vote for Paul are those are liberal on civil liberties and the war, because those are Paul's main issues. Barr could potentially hurt us as well as John McCain, or even hurt us more if Paul's supporters go to him. He could either hurt us more than the GOPer and give McCain the White House like Ralph Nader, or steal our mandate, like Ross Perot did, who denied Bill Clinton a majority twice, which severely hampered his ability to get things done. (exit polls and opinion polls proved this is both elections http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht ml?res=9E0CE0DB1F3FF936A35752C1A96495826 0  http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/elec tions/natl.exit.poll/index1.html )

by DiamondJay 2008-04-27 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I'd have to see some data before agreeing that Paul or Barr will hurt us more than McCain. Honestly, I find it doubtful. But we should be careful, no doubt.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 05:23PM | 0 recs
lets look at the issues

barr: to the left on the war and civil liberties, and the Paul voters, the ones who won't really care about the Clinton impeachment or remember it, are the ones likely to vote for him on those issues. Barack Obama is closer to Barr on those issues than John McCain. While we won't see for a while hard polling data, with these issues, I think that Barr could hurt us

by DiamondJay 2008-04-27 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I don't agree with Jay's 'concern' over this.

Paul's followers can be persuaded to support and donate to Barr. All we need are 3-5% of the vote to sway a red state into contention, and a purple state blue.

by Veteran75 2008-04-27 05:33PM | 0 recs
That would require a

videotaped endorsement of Barr by Paul that Barr could stick up on his website.

Do you know if they got along while in congress?

by Student Guy 2008-04-27 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: That would require a

Good question. Someone should take a look.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:28PM | 0 recs
Laughs at Paultards

They will write in Ron Paul in the fall.  I have had several conversations while Trolling at Ron Paul sites.  The only the vote for someone other than Paul is if he endorses a different candidate and he won't do that for McCain.

The rLOVEution if a very funny thing to behold when talking to people with in it.

by Student Guy 2008-04-27 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

The Paultards are quite funny. I have had many discussions with them at the Hillary events I went to (they were always counter protesting), and they even protested our campaign HQ's opening! They sure are a different bunch.

by zcflint05 2008-04-27 05:37PM | 0 recs
They do exist in real life...

I've only met them while trolling their turf (the revolutionmarch chat site was a great example of this, and I pretended to 'drunk-blog' a Clinton-Obama debate a while back, that got me really good laughs from the Paultards.

by Student Guy 2008-04-27 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: They do exist in real life...

They sure as hell aren't going to vote democratic in the primary if we keep calling them Paultards!

by ashriver 2008-04-27 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Medical records may help.

by gotalife 2008-04-27 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

So by the media is barely mentioning it, do you mean you stole this idea from Frank Rich?

Nice job. Nice originality...

by The Best Blogger 2008-04-27 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base
No, like how he actually links to Rich's article in the first line of his diary:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/27/o pinion/edrich.php
by lizardbox 2008-04-27 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Right. I had been thinking about it, and Rich wrote about it today, spurring me to query the MyDD community as to their thoughts.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

And once again, I feel like a big idiot.

by The Best Blogger 2008-04-27 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

You're forgiven, of course! We're all on the same side, I believe...

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Thank, doc.

And to think I was trying to be all cool, typing in the code for a link all by myself. Tsk. Tsk.

Content--not presentation or access--drives the blogs.

by The Best Blogger 2008-04-27 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Does one need a candidate's permission to get his name on the ballot?  If we could get Ron Paul's name on the ballot as an independent in at least the battleground states, it could make enough of a difference to tip the balance.

Anyone know what the general rules are for something like this?

by LordMike 2008-04-27 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I think it varies state by state. I know the Draft Gore folks had some trouble at least in the primary when they were thinking about getting Gore's name on the ballot and Gore didn't want to.

But if you can do it, I'd expect Paul supporters will on their own volition. Might be useful to nudge them in the right direction though.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:30PM | 0 recs
The libertarian party

is on the ballot in 48 states and are likely to get on in WV and probably won't get on in OK.

by Student Guy 2008-04-27 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Great Post. This is the key to winning in November.

For John McCain to win the general, he must put together a coalition of GOP and Independents, which each group thinking he is one of them and hoodwinking the other for political gain. So we must press him to choose. Global warming is a great example. Immigration is another. The best part, or the reason this can work, is due to John McCain's temper and inflated ego. If we press him, he'll do the rest.

The situation with the NC GOP is a great example. John McCain called the NC GOP 'out of touch with reality'. The DNC should make an ad and play it on a loop in NC. Opportunities like these will be rife with his ill conceived "regional managers" (the political equivalent of the 61-62 Chicago Cubs' College of Coaches). With different messages to different audiences, there will be plenty of conflicting statements.

Lastly, GOP candidates have long won "values voters". John McCain called his wife a c*nt  in front of reporters. I think that speaks for itself.

by Benstrader 2008-04-27 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I don't know if this is the key, but it can't be overlooked.

As you say, letting McCain whitewash over his conflicting positions, telling every side what they want to hear, is going to make really tough to win in November. Add in the media's love of Saint McCain and you have a real problem.

So maybe it is key after all! :)

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

To clarify, the 'key' is to break up John McCain's coalition. And this is a guy who was close to defecting to the Democratic Party. We have to make that issue one. While it might be tempting to paint him as a right winger, it does us more good to consistently rub it in the faces of staunch republicans that he is not one of them (like with global warming, immigration, values). He must then choose to pander to the right, losing his maverick cred, which will destroy his mythical standing with media, or choose to play to the center, and spit in the face of the GOP base.

I would suggest pushing immigration, because if we can get Obama and McCain to out do each other on comprehensive immigration reform, I think we could get Tancredo or Dobbs or some other wing nut to run on an anti immigration platform and knock out a significant chunk of the GOP base.

(disclaimer to anyone who wants me to back up my gut with facts - I am an admittedly Unserious person)

by Benstrader 2008-04-27 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I'm with you. Immigration, his marriage, his flip flopping and general lack of knowledge on the economy are all big ones, and ones that take away parts of his base. We should do it, and soon.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Lack of knowledge on the economy? What do you mean?

McCain's economic plan for the country is simple - Two words -  Remarry up.

Nothing says self made man like pulling yourself up with your rich second wife's beer money bootstraps.  

by Benstrader 2008-04-27 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Or take Colbert's WORD for it.

Ha, this video cracks me up every time I think about it.

by The Best Blogger 2008-04-27 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Crap, just realized that was not what I meant to link to, though that one is a fixture on the top of my personal blog.

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertrepo rt/videos.jhtml?videoId=164562

that's what I meant.

by The Best Blogger 2008-04-27 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

Huh?

In 2004, Ralph Nader was funded by wealthy Republican donors to try and sabotage John Kerry's candidacy.

Lest you forget, John Kerry was funded far more by wealthy Republican donors, and he successfully sabotaged his own candidacy. Blaming Nader for Bush's ability to beat feckless Democratic candidates is like blaming the rooster for the sunrise.

The affliction of political bigotry so pervasive in the so-called progressive, "reality-based" community drips with shameless irony.

by fafnir 2008-04-27 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Divorcing John McCain From His Base

I never said Nader defeated Kerry, only pointing out that Republicans funded a potential spoiler candidate and so can we.

by J Ro 2008-04-27 08:27PM | 0 recs
John Kerry

John Kerry got 74% in Pennsylvania in 2004.  Election was 1.5 months after Edwards had bowed out.

by DaveOinSF 2008-04-27 07:41PM | 0 recs
Bush/Gore

Huh.  Bush got 73.5% of the vote in the Pennsylvania primary in 2000 and Gore got 74.6%, each having already wrapped up the nomination by that time.

Seems the neighborhood of 25% is pretty standard for wrapped up Pennsylvania primaries.

Also, those 220,000 don't truly reflect 27% of the Republican voters in PA. Low turnout election.

by DaveOinSF 2008-04-27 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Bush/Gore

Thanks for the stats, very interesting. I wonder what these numbers look like in other states, or is PA an anomaly...

by J Ro 2008-04-27 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Bush/Gore

Well Dean won Vermont and Edwards won North Carolina long past the time either had withdrawn from the race.  

Edwards officially withdrew on March 3, 2004, following the March 2 primaries.  Kerry won between 67 and 78% in the March 9 primaries.

by DaveOinSF 2008-04-27 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Bush/Gore
Texas - 67%
Louisiana - 70%
Florida - 77%
Mississippi - 78%
by DaveOinSF 2008-04-27 09:23PM | 0 recs
CP in FL

McCain may have a bit of a challenge in NW Florida. The Constitution party just nominated evangelical preacher, popular NW FL radio talk show host and Ron Paul supporter Chuck Baldwin as their presidential nominee.  

He defeated Allan Keyes more than 3-1 at their convention over the weekend.

by brooklyngreenie 2008-04-28 04:52AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads