The Corner

Step One of McCain’s Outreach to Conservatives

His letter to the pro-life marchers yesterday was significant, even if McCain couldn’t be there in person. I got around to reading the whole thing this morning, and it contains some really good stuff:

While our nation struggles with the issue of abortion and the division it has wrought on our society and culture, Americans on both sides of this debate should agree that the proper solution for this debate to be settled is through the democratic process, not through judicial dictate. Seven judges in 1973 took the issue of abortion on themselves to settle this issue for every American, in all fifty states. They assured us that by sheer judicial will and power, the question of a so-called right to abortion was settled’ and that our society would now arrive at a shared consensus by virtue of their ruling.

They were wrong to make this assumption. Your presence in Washington today marching for Life proves just how wrong they were.

Now if he can just put it in writing this clearly that he’ll veto any tax increase or gun-control law…

I talked to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) yesterday outside the Supreme Court, after he had read McCain’s letter to the marchers. He had not heard yet about Thompson’s withdrawal, but he said he believed it would not significantly affect the race because South Carolina was Fred’s only strong state.

Wishful thinking? I’m not sure. In Florida, Thompson has been polling a pretty consistent 7 percent (although the Rasmussen poll had him at 12). The former Fred-ites might make a difference in a very close race. If you look at the trend lines in the polls, you’ll see that Thompson’s softer supporters abandoned him long ago for Romney and Huckabee. McCain’s ranks did not swell with Thompson’s decline. McCain’s surge came more recently and mostly at Giuliani’s expense.

You have to think that, on the margin, the bitter-end Thompsonites will benefit Romney — but they won’t all go to Romney. If Giuliani suddenly dives, it benefits McCain.

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