Deserters for McCain

A campaign blog.
March 31 2008 2:55 PM

Deserters for McCain

The contrast between the Democratic and Republican races would be funny if it weren’t so depressing. While Obama and Clinton bruise each other over Iraq, delegates, and Florida and Michigan, John McCain takes a grand tour of the Middle East and Europe, followed by a domestic tour touting his own biography . Voters tuning in have two options: brutal political warfare vs. story time with John McCain. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they’re choosing the latter.

Last week, a Gallup poll showed that more than 20 percent of Clinton and Obama supporters would vote for McCain if their favorite candidate didn’t get the nomination. A full 28 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for McCain if Obama were the nominee.

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This calls for a little skepticism. Not that the poll is wrong, necessarily, but that voters are likely to feel a lot different come November than they do now. John McCain looks better now than he ever will again, especially when compared with the embattled Democrats. The moment the Dem nominee turns his or her full energies on McCain—his relationships with lobbyists, his tax-cut flips, his inadvisable and oft-twisted "100 years" remark—his sheen is bound to get a little scuffed. At which point the 20 percent will drop fast.

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.

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