Kerry pretends he can win Arizona.

A guide to the swing states.
Aug. 27 2004 3:51 PM

Arizona

Can Kerry win here without McCain?

(Continued from Page 1)

Outside of his iconoclasm, McCain's importance in Arizona lies in his pull with the state's huge pool of independents. About 25 percent of the Arizona electorate describes itself as independent, and most are thought to share McCain's political hard-wiring: conservative, but distrustful of blind loyalty to party. The Democratic dream scenario goes like this: If McCain has a public tiff with George W. Bush and the GOP—over the 2000 election, Swift boat ads, whatever—Arizona's independent voters might follow their Obi-Wan Kenobi figure and jump to John Kerry.

Just the opposite has happened, of course. McCain reportedly declined the Kerry camp's entreaties to join the ticket as vice president. He headlined Bush's Aug. 11 rally in Phoenix, which drew 15,000 screaming Republicans, and will speak in prime time at the Republican Convention. McCain can goose the Bush campaign all he wants, but without his explicit endorsement of Kerry, it's hard to see what issue would flip Arizona independents—who tend to be more conservative than independents in, say, Florida.

Advertisement

So to win Arizona, John Kerry needs an unprecedented showing among Latino voters, who remain unenthused about him, and a huge slice of independents, whose champion is pointing the other way. One bit of good news for Democrats is that they managed to knock Ralph Nader off the ballot, arguing that some of his signatures had been collected by convicted felons. And then there's Douglas Wilson, Kerry's newly arrived state director, who engineered Bill Clinton's miracle victory here in 1996. "I understand people look at '96 and say, 'This was a good thing,' " says Wilson. "I'm not some savior, for God's sake." Too bad. For Kerry to win Arizona, it's gonna take a miracle.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.