The Corner

McCain’s Challenge

Mark, let’s look at the numbers. According to this recent survey (WSJ/NBC) 27% of voters nationwide have a positive view of the Republican party. For the sake of argument, let’s call that the Republican base. If, as you note, an average of 25% of those who voted in the North Carolina and Indiana GOP primaries voted against McCain and if you assume that these voters are a representative sample of that Republican base (I’m not convinced), then those numbers can be extrapolated nationally into a towering 6.75% of the electorate. Given the choice of appealing to the massed ranks of Paul, Huckabee and Keyes dead-enders or to independents (and even those Democrats who might not yet be ready for Obama’s “Kingdom on Earth”), McCain’s electoral math is, I think, clear. The question, of course, is how he should appeal to those voters.

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