by John Hawkins | January 15, 2008 11:15 am
Although, as I pointed out earlier today, A John McCain’s head-to-head poll numbers against Clinton and Obama are excellent, the flip side of that is whether those numbers can hold up over the long haul given how strongly he is disliked by conservatives.
To give you an idea of the sort of loathing John McCain inspires amongst conservatives, I’m going to post some of the emails from Townhall’s readers that were prompted by my A Conservative Nightmare: Republican Nominee, John McCain column.
Nominating McCain will be suicidal. The 2006 election already showed Republicans will not vote in disgust: the Republican vote was down about 2% in that election that wasn’t reflected in the Democrat totals. And that was just from a general dissatisfaction with the Republican leadership. I suspect a McCain candidacy will at least double the number of Republicans who sit it out or vote for minor party candidates like the Conservative or Libertarian parties.
If McCain gets the nomination, I WILL NOT VOTE for him PERIOD!!!!!. Guess we will lose
John McCain is the largest rino in the Republican party. If he does win the nomination you can forget the republican party. The only thing worse is if Lindsey Graham from S.C. was running with him. That is a real nightmare. Robert From S.C.
If McCain or Huckabee receive the nomination, I will a) not vote for the republican candidate for president and b) not give another dime to the national republican party until 4 years later when an acceptable conservative/libertarian candidate gets the nod.
YOUR RIGHT- A Conservative Nightmare… WHAT is wrong with people??? I WILL-NOT vote for McCain OR Huckabee. Sincerely, Kathaleen Ray…..TX
Your next article should name names on those establishment Republicans who support him. I’d sit this one out. Thanks. C.W.
Now, do those people represent the majority of Republicans? Probably not. If McCain is the nominee, most conservatives will hold their nose and vote for him anyway, particularly if the nominee is Hillary.
Is it possible that those people will change their minds as the general election gets closer and they have to make a real decision between voting for McCain and sitting home? Sure, some of them probably will.
Are these people making the best decision? I don’t think so. I think that at the presidential level, conservatives are almost always better off having a Republican in charge than a Democrat. Moreover, I think people who are unhappy with the Republican Party should become more involved, not less. It’s people who are in the game who make a real difference, not the people who opt out.
All that being said, the emails you’ve just read probably reflect the views of millions of Republican voters — and we’re not just talking about people who vote, we’re talking about people who contribute money to Republicans, normally talk up Republican candidates to their friends, and volunteer for campaigns.
So, win or lose, the GOP would pay an enormous price for running a man like John McCain. In fact, having him as nominee would make this into a lose/lose election for conservatives and arguing that we would lose less with John McCain than a Democrat isn’t exactly an attractive argument to make to Republicans and Independents in 2008.
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