Kentucky Results Indicate McCain’s Weak Support / Problems With Conservatives

McCain Scores a Pathetic 72% of the Vote In Kentucky

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS FOR KENTUCKY

McCain 72%

Huckabee 8%

Paul 7%

Uncommitted 5%

Mitt Romney 5%

Rudy Giuliani 2%

KENTUCKY ANALYSIS OF THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

WTF! You’re the party’s presumptive nominee and you don’t even pull 3/4ths of the vote. The other guys have dropped out (except for Paul) and you’re giving up almost 10% of the vote to Huckabee? Even more sad, 5% chose uncommitted rather than vote for McCain.

I know the news media is getting its panties in a twirl covering the Democratic election, which in my book was over on super Tuesday, but big media is doing the American people a gross disservice by giving McCain a free pass on these shocking numbers. (Or should I say Hillary is doing the entire party a disservice by staying in so that the media’s harsh focus won’t reveal McCain’s glaring blemishes)

Much has been made about Obama losing to Clinton in Kentucky, but the Republican numbers tell me that if the Kentucky Primary was held before New Hampshire, McCain could easily have been toast. But then we also could ask “if pigs flew would pork taste like chicken.”

What this does tell me is that conservatives still revile McCain. From what I’ve observed, his “base” has consisted of a loose conflagration of voters that are not well educated on his record.

Fact is when die-hard conservatives learn McCain’s record on issues that matter to them: abortion, immigration, gun control, gay marriage – they grow weary at best, bolt at worst. One thing is certain, they hardly rally to his defense. (see my previous entry McCain: The Conservatives Don’t Even Trust Him.) He’s needed every ounce of Rovian wisdom to try to bring conservatives into the fold for him – and reports indicate Karl is working hard for him on the message building front (otherwise known as Operations: John Knows Jack About Conservatives)

Unfortunately for McCain, he gained his ill deserved “maverick” reputation by staking positions just to the left of the major conservative wedge issues, leaving him out in the cold. For example, on abortion, he is decidedly anti-Choice, but simultaneously takes the moderate position of vocally opposing the Republican party platform’s call for no-exceptions. On gun control, he’s for moderate restrictions. In other words, he’s taken neither here nor there positions on many of the positions that really count to conservatives, but are incidental to “swing voters.” That’s why as a “presumptive Republican nominee,” he gave up 28% of the vote to now phantom opponents (and Ron Paul)!

Meanwhile, on the issues that matter to the average middle of the road voter – the economy, defense, Iraq, Social Security, health care, education etc. – McCain is decidedly conservative, with opinions perfectly in step with Satan George W. Bush. As voters recognize that McCain is in ideology, just another four year term for W, they’re bolting.

Hence the reason McCain needs to find palatable issues that he can take left leaning positions on (even if in lip service only) . The most easy to swallow for the conservatives – Environmentalism.

Ironically, while McCain’s environmental policy was seen as a departure from the conservative establishment, it is arguably merely the logical extension of the basic concessions Bush has been forced to offer up in light of rising energy costs and a preponderance of evidence that Global Warming. (If you’ll recall, in April 2008, the Bush administration finally conceded that climate change was occurring.)

Had candidate McCain been candidate Bush, we likely would have seen a nearly identical proposal on climate change, the environment, and energy. (I swear a post going into detail on McCain’s energy and environmental plans is forthcoming)

At the end of the day, as Kentucky indicates, McCain is fighting a two front war: on the one had maintaining his credentials as a conservative and invigorating the party’s base, and on the other appealing to the moderately inclined “swing voter.”

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