Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire Exit Polls Demonstrate McCain's Broadbased Appeal

I spent this summer working at a camp in New Hampshire. I saw a lot of signs for Mitt, for Rudy, for Obama. But I wasn't seeing any for John McCain. I didn't quite get it. Over the course of the summer, McCain's poll numbers were cut in half both here and nationally. I'm still not sure why it took so long for New Hampshire Republicans and independents to come back to the maverick they embraced in 2000. But in the last month and a half, New Hampshire came back to him.

Part of it was the success of the strategy McCain had long advocated in Iraq. Part of it was the endorsements by newspapers to the right and left. And a large part of it was McCain's interaction with people, his candidness and his character, his willingness to engage those who disagree with him.

CNN's exit poll numbers show McCain's broadbased appeal. He won absolute majorities of those who look most for experience and most for honesty in a candidate. He won among both men and women. He won among those who are married and those who are single. He won those with college degrees and those without. He won among the most pro-life and the most pro-choice. He won those who cited their top issue as Iraq, terrorism, and the economy. He won among those who attend church weekly, monthly and those who never do. He tied Huckabee for evangelicals and Mitt Romney for Catholics. He won every income bracket except those making over 150K.

John McCain said he no longer owns a gun, but he won 42 percent of those here who do. This septuagenarian won over not only young people, but also those in every age group except his own. This staunch defender of the troop surge in Iraq won not only among those who were strongly against the Iraq War, but even among those who had at least a somewhat favorable view of Ron Paul.

While Romney bills himself as the candidate as change, John McCain won voters who are most anxious for that change. While Romney is running for CEO-in-chief, John McCain won among those most worried about the economy. With the GOP overseeing seven years of a rapidly rising national debt, McCain is the one trusted to stop it. And with Bush-Cheney unpopular among people across the political spectrum, McCain won those dissatisfied with the current administration.

With the large number of moderates and independents who voted in the New Hampshire GOP Primary, it may well be the case that these results are not consistent with the views of card-carrying Republican voters in other parts of the country. What it does demonstrate is that John McCain stands the best chance to win against the Democrats, especially in a swing state like New Hampshire.

1 comment:

James A. Bretney said...

kudos fellow mccainiac!