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The Collective
Monday, June 25, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the Times of London: McCain could pull out of race by autumn

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.

[…]

One veteran Republican consultant put the odds of McCain remaining in the race beyond the autumn at 3-1 against. “He’ll be gone by September,” predicted Tom Edmonds, who is not affiliated with any campaign.

“The wheels are coming off his wagon and it’s hard to see how he can recover. He won’t be able to pay all the good talent he has hired and they’ll want to drift away from a loser.”

A poll by Rasmussen Reports last week showed McCain lying joint third with Mitt Romney, the Mormon former governor of Massachussetts, with the support of just 10% of Republican voters. This compared with 28% for Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator, and 27% for Rudy Giuliani, New York’s mayor at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Another poll in Iowa, a crucial early voting state, put McCain in fifth place behind Mike Hucka-bee, the former governor of Arkansas, with only 6%.

The national numbers aren’t necessarily all that bad, given the crowded nature of the field, but fifth in Iowa is pretty darn harsh.

The article is mostly speculation, but moves like cutting staff to save money never look good. If it becomes the accepted wisdom in fund raising circles that McCain has no shot, then that perception will become reality.

While McCain clearly has lost most, if not all, of his 2000 mojo, I still wonder if he chances are as dire as the conventional wisdom makes it out to be. I still maintain that Giuliani is going to face real problems over his social policy views when the voters actually come out to the primaries and Thompson is currently popular at least in part because no one knows all that much about him. As such, there is still space for McCain to surge back to some degree. However, his support for immigration reform may be enough to kill his candidacy this year all by itself, given the anger rampant in the base on that issue.

Early on I must admit that I thought McCain was the likely nominee, but it is difficult to see him winning at this stage. Still, I have a hard time seeing him dropping out before the process actually starts (unless the money totally dries up). Of the other candidates I can’t decide who the nominee will be.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |

8 Comments

  1. Is John McCain Doomed To Quit 2008 Presidential Nomination Race?

    It has been clear for several months now that Arizona Senator John McCain, chief engineer of 2000’s media-praised “Straight Talk Express,” was walking a shaky tightrope in his quest for the Republican nomination — trying to ho…

    Trackback by The Moderate Voice — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 9:41 am

  2. Is John McCain Doomed To Quit 2008 Presidential Nomination Race?

    It has been clear for several months now that Arizona Senator John McCain, chief engineer of 2000’s media-praised “Straight Talk Express,” was walking a shaky tightrope in his quest for the Republican nomination — trying to ho…

    Trackback by The Moderate Voice — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 9:41 am

  3. McCain Done Before Primaries?

    John McCain will be forced to withdraw from the race before the first primary unless fundraising and poll numbers reverse themselves in a hurry, the Sunday Times claims.
    The speculation, vigorously denied by McCain’s camp, is sweeping Republican circ…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  4. Steven, when you quote from these foreign papers, please translate for your American readers: “…showed McCain lying joint third…” (?)

    I assume one of the reasons he is polling so poorly in Iowa is that the locals remember that he skipped the caucuses in 2000.

    As for McCain’s likely departure, good riddance. When he was an apostate, he was interesting, at least, and potentially someone who could transcend partisan polarization. But he let himself get very much domesticated without ever making core GOP constituencies (other than the “more war” lobby) comfortable that he could be one of theirs.

    As I noted back on 1 January, 2006, he was never likely to win the nomination for 2008. His greater public appeal was based precisely on his heresies, but there was no way he was ever again going to utter the words class warfare to refer not to leftist assaults on privilege but to right-wing tax-cut orthodoxy, as he did in 2000. Or to call the dominionists (like the now-deceased Falwell) “agents of intolerance.” One could go on and on… The point is that he’s left with no base in or out of the party on which to build a plausible bid.

    Comment by MSS — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  5. 2006 and 2008: Polling, predictions and the implausibility of President McCain

    UPDATE, 25 June, 2006: Upon reading news that McCain might be out of the race by September, I decided to revisit my 1 January, 2006, planting. I was quite wrong that Republicans would hang on in 2006, but I think my assessment of McCain’s implaus…

    Trackback by Fruits and Votes — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

  6. […] More importantly, as Steven Taylor notes: If it becomes the accepted wisdom in fund raising circles that McCain has no shot, then that perception will become reality. […]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Is John McCain Going Down In Flames ? — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  7. […] National Review, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Associated Press, Captain’s Quarters, The Newshoggers, ABCNEWS, Washington Post, Dyre Portents, Right Wing News, Booman Tribune, The Moderate Voice, Wizbang, Hot Air, The Right’s Field, DownWithTyranny!, All Spin Zone, A Chequer-Board of Nights …, Outside The Beltway, The Caucus, Michael P.F. van der Galiën, PoliBlog (TM), The Democratic Daily and Taylor Marsh […]

    Pingback by McCain could be out of race by Fall. « Exposing The Neo-Right — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

  8. Matthew,

    I would argue that he does have one possible constituency upon which to build a run: the Stop Hillary contingent of the GOP. If he hangs in, and if the polls show he can beat Hillary buy Romney or Thompson, etc. cannot, then he could ride that to the nomination.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

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