David Kirkpatrick

June 20, 2008

McCain working to nail down Clinton’s fringe?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:12 pm

Nate Silver has some interesting analysis at 538 on John McCain courting Clinton voters. The same voters who initially claimed they would be voting McCain over Obama. Everyone knew for the most part that sort of statement is just passion and frustration rearing up.

Think about how many conservative talking heads and blogging heads and others claimed they would refuse to support McCain once Romney dropped out of the race. Even through the rest of the primary months Huckabee and Paul combined to pull a solid 25% of the GOP vote in protest to McCain as the nominee. Think that bulk is voting Obama? Not a chance. Bob Barr might pull some of the Paul Libertarian vote, but even protest voters will stick with their party come November.

Same with the large bulk of Clinton voters who became angry at Obama’s success (albeit narrow) over the primary season. Particularly the women voters who’ve always voted strongly biased on women’s rights issues such as the state of Roe v. Wade and the makeup of the SCOTUS. These voters will not want McCain in office.

What is interesting there must be a sweet-spot of Clinton voters who honestly prefer McCain over Obama for whatever reason. Nate points out in his analysis McCain seems to be working on the lunatic fringe of Clinton supporters. People who may well vote McCain, but don’t represent the typical Clinton voter and who might scare away a sizable sweet-spot that McCain could’ve tried to exploit purely by dint of the miasma of crazy in the far edges of Clinton’s “support.”

From the 538 link:

McCain, however, appears to be less interested in speaking to the millions of Clinton voters who fall somewhere between the cracks, and more interested in engaging the handful of crazies who dislike Barack Obama for wholly irrational reasons. Take Will Bower, the founder of a group called PUMA (“Party Unity My Ass”). On Saturday, Bower met with John McCain. On Wednesday, Bower attended Larry Sinclair’s press conference, saw Sinclair literally accuse Obama of murder, saw Sinclair’s lawyer wearing a kilt, saw Sinclair flee the room after the press conference because he was moments away from being arrested, and came away saying that Sinclair’s story was “worth exploring”. That means that McCain is either one or two degrees removed from the lunatic fringe, depending on what you think of Bower’s state of mind.