Raising McCain

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Andrew Kohut

01/25/2008 - Nearly lost in the blizzard of recent poll reports were the findings of a Gallup survey that the current Republican frontrunner, John McCain, might well give each of the two Democratic frontrunners a run for their money.

When Gallup asked 1,598 likely voters whom they'd back if the presidential election were held today, respondents chose Sen. McCain over Barack Obama by a 50 percent to 45 percent margin, and also preferred the Arizona senator to Hillary Clinton by a modest 50%-to 47% margin.

By contrast, the same survey went on to show both Senators Clinton and Obama easily besting Mike Huckabee in a general election. Sen. Obama was favored over Mr. Huckabee by 10 percentage points and Sen. Clinton by 6 percentage points.

So how seriously can we take a poll showing McCain running ahead or even with Obama and Clinton? While voters want change and favor the Democrats and their positions, a Republican candidate who is seen as an agent of change and not strongly associated with orthodox conservative beliefs could put up a strong challenge to a Democrat in November.

Read the full article Raising McCain on the New York Times Web site.

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