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Sunday, February 10, 2008
The Billionaire's Candidate

Is, unsurprisingly, a billionaire himself. Mark Cuban calls for NY Mayor Bloomberg to enter the campaign. But note this part:

I actually started to get a little bit excited about McCain. Then he went on the warpath to "mend his riff" with the Republican Party. I can only speak for myself, but the fact that he had a "riff" with the Republicans is exactly why i started to get excited about him. No, he hadn't presented any more details on his plans than any other candidate, but there was a glimmer of hope that he was a candidate that thought for himself.

The word he's looking for is "rift". So the blog maverick is not supporting the political maverick, because McCain's gone too far right. This illustrates the risk to the senator of continuing to court the supposed base of the party.

The idea that John McCain still owes something to the people who did not support his candidacy is mistaken. Suppose he does make the effort and everybody swoons with delight. What will happen the minute he tacks back to the center, as he must to win the election? The peasants will be back at the castle gates with torches and pitchforks.

There are not enough votes to win this election on the right. That is becoming appallingly obvious when looking at the number of people coming out to the polls in the primary states.

Look at South Carolina, for example. The Palmetto State is considered safe Republican; Bush won their by 17 percentage points over Kerry. Yet in this year's primary, 20% more people voted for the Democrats than voted for the GOP's candidates. And that although the GOP had an advantage in that their primary was open, and came a week before the Dems vote.

Or Missouri. Missouri is a battleground state, one of the key states in determining the presidential outcome. Bush won there by seven points in 2004, so Republicans figure to have a small edge there. But in this year's primary, 40% more people voted for Democratic candidates. Forty percent! And bear in mind that there was a very hotly contested three-way race on the Republican side (and a hotly contested two-way race among the Democrats). Now that the GOP race is over (and don't kid yourself, it's over), expect that turnout differential to increase sharply.

There are not enough votes in the base to win this election, not even close. McCain needs to move aggressivly towards the center now if he is to chip away at that lead.

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