According to the Evans-Novak political report, Hillary Clinton is gaining ground in the polls. Most notably, she is 7 points ahead of John McCain by 50%-43%. This is significant because it’s the first time a possible candidate for the 2008 Presidency has hit the 50% mark.
McCain and Hillary share something in common – their base is still unhappy with them. McCain has upset many conservatives with his moderate views, and Hillary has irritated many liberals with her own middle of the road stance on issues. McCain strongly supports the “troop surge” plan that would add up to 30,000 more troops to “stabilize” a deteriorating Iraq. President Bush is considering it eventhough it is very unpopular with the American people. John McCain has already employed many of the people who worked on Bush’s campaigns. Is there a connection? Who knows, but America is losing patience with the situation in Iraq.
McCain will continue to go down in polls if he continues this “troop surge” nonsense. Joe Lieberman wrote an op-ed piece today praising the troop surge plan. I see this totally backfiring. The bottom line is, America is tired of a failed policy and it’s becoming clear there is no military solution. In New Hampshire, a pivotal primary state that leans Republican, 38% of voters want the troops home now.
The problem Republicans have is a lack of charismatic Presidential contenders that suit the core “values” of conservatives. For example, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani are by far the two most recognized and popular stars for the nomination. But McCain has been trying so hard to woo conservatives that he’s losing the very thing that people like about him – his maverick personality. Now he is seen as a wet finger in the wind, kissing up to the likes of Jerry Falwell. Rudy Giuliani will run on one major issue: 9/11. He hasn’t given one speech in recent years where he doesn’t mention 9/11 at least half a dozen times. Sure, he cleaned up NYC, but he’s pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights and conservatives know deep down that they can kiss their social agenda goodbye if he became President.
If John McCain and Rudy Giuliani ran together, that would be a very, very tough ticket to beat. But again, many conservatives are wary of putting social moderates in office. But who else has the ability to win now that George Allen is a mere afterthought? I see Republicans having an identity crisis in the 2008 primary. For Democrats, it will either be a fight for dominance, or smooth sailing for Clinton. According to MyDD and ARG polling, Hillary is leading all possible candidates in every primary state. The risk is spending massive amounts of money, exhausting yourself before the real race even starts is where the Democrats may run into trouble. So far, Clinton is playing her cards right. The fact that she’s got a 7 point lead on McCain is very telling. She was never my first choice, I wrote an entire piece about Mark Warner and was saddened when he dropped out.
If Bush continues on this irrational path when dealing with Iraq, it will make it easier for Democrats in 2008 as it did two months ago. My fear is that Bush will authorize more troops, knowing things will get worse. They may be trying to force Democrats into a position of cutting funding off for the war – and then blame them for not supporting our troops.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but It’s all politics at the end of the day.