Hans' News and Politics Blog

A Blog of Conservative News, Politics, and Foreign Affairs

Friday, October 07, 2005

Election '08 - What McCain will have to do to cinch the GOP nomination.

In order to obtain the Presidential nomination for the GOP McCain will have to overcome significant opposition within the party faithful. A difficult task - but not impossible. To begin with he has some things going for him:

1. High name ID: This means he won't have to spend much money to get himself established.
2. The support of the Press: Even in a GOP nomination this is worth the equivalent of a few million dollars of campaign funds.
3. It's his turn: The GOP has a tradition where previous runner-ups get the nod the next time around.
4. The GOP has open primaries in many States: This means that Democrats and Independents can cross over and vote for him.
5. He would easily beat Hillary: Most polls to date give McCain a big lead against Hillary in a potential match-up. For many amongst the GOP establishment that could be enough to support him.

But he has also some things working against him:

1. He isn't liked by the religious right: A formidable opposition that doomed his last effort.
2. His advised age: He would be 72 years old when first elected, two year older than Reagan was in 1981.
3. He often has gone against the party: Many members are suspicious of McCain's conservative credentials and are loath to support him.

So how would McCain win? He has to take several steps, some of which he has already started upon:

1. Promise to continue President Bush's legacy where it counts: McCain has been one of the strongest supporters of the President in the Global War On Terror. Indeed, McCain has more of a legacy of supporting an aggressive US foreign policy than the President himself and has been a more effective spokesman than President Bush.
2. Break with the President on issues where Bush has alienated conservatives: Attack the big-government conservatism of President Bush to bring back disillusioned small government conservatives. McCain has already taken a lead in pushing for budget cuts to pay for Katrina, he needs to become far more vocal in pushing for more reductions in spending.
3. Make peace with christian conservatives: McCain is pro-life and supports many of the same issues christian conservatives care about, even if he isn't outwardly as religious. He needs to point out these common values and engage the christian right early and often. He could also point out that he has more in common with them than the other front-runner Giuliani has.
4. Approach think-tank and blogger Republicans: While McCain is popular with the old media and frequently engages them in interviews, he has little to no contact with intellectual conservatives. He will have to win them over if he wants to win the nomination. He should snap up reform proposals from conservative think-tanks and conduct interviews with prominent conservative bloggers.

McCain's chances at obtaining the nomination are quite solid, particularly if movement conservatives grow increasingly frustrated with out-of-control spending by the current administration and congress.


Blogger Scipio said...

Intellectual conservatives will never support McCain until he renounces his campaign finance reforms.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Hansmeister said...

True. McCain-Feingold is deeply unpopular amongst movement conservatives, even though it damaged Democrats far more than the GOP.

2:14 PM  

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