Kudlow’s Money Politics

McCain Surges Ahead

Has anyone noticed that John McCain is surging in the polls? According to the latest print from Rasmussen and Zogby, McCain now holds a 6 to 8 point lead against Hill-Bama. And I doubt that Senator Obama’s speech yesterday will change anything. It was nothing more than a non-denial denial of his fidelity to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Wright’s hard-left anti-American agenda.

(For those interested in especially good commentary on Obama’s speech, I suggest reading Ronald Kessler’s piece over at Newsmax, as well as the editorial in Investor Business Daily. Both have insightful critiques.)

McCain’s surge means that it is much less likely that Herbert Hoover-style high-tax and trade-protectionist proposals will come from Hill-Bama. This point will not be lost on the stock market.

And what about Congress? Well, there’s a good article by John Gizzi in Human Events suggesting that Republicans will actually pick up seats in the House this November. According to Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole, chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee, 61 House Democrats are running in districts that President Bush carried in 2004, while only 8 Republicans are running in districts carried by John Kerry.

What’s more, of the twenty-five districts in which the Democrat was last elected with less than 55 percent of the vote — historically a sign of vulnerability — all but eight are districts carried by Bush.

The current breakdown in the House is 231 Democrats and 198 Republicans, with 2 vacant seats formerly held by Democrats and 4 vacant seats formerly in GOP hands. 218 would constitute a majority. So, if my math is right, the GOP would need a 20-seat pickup this November to carry the House. It doesn’t seem a likely outcome according to nearly all the pundits. But, then again, pundits continue to underestimate the strength of John McCain at the head of the GOP ticket.

According to the latest Zogby poll, McCain scores 46 to 40 percent against Obama. Just last month it was 47 to 40 — in Obama’s favor! That’s a huge turnaround, undoubtedly traceable to Obama’s recent problems with his pal Reverend Wright. As for Sen. Clinton, Zogby also shows McCain leading, 48 to 40. In Rasmussen’s daily Presidential Tracking Poll, McCain leads Obama 48-42, and Clinton 49-43.

If and when Sen. McCain moves to 50 percent or better in these polls, it would be a true sign of electoral strength. It would lift spirits for a strong GOP showing in the House and Senate. And, as I mentioned earlier, the chances of Hoover-like high-tax and trade-protectionist policies — which would be inimical to economic growth and devastating to the stock market — grow slimmer and slimmer.

That’s good news.

Larry Kudlow — Larry Kudlow is CNBC’s senior contributor. His new book is JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, written with Brian Domitrovic.

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