Here is the overall state of the 2008 presidential and congressional campaign as of today.
Any of the three remaining candidates, Obama, Clinton and McCain, could win in November.
No matter who wins that election, the Democrats are going to have a huge pick-up in seats in the House and Senate.
Last Saturday’s surprisingly large takeover of former Speaker Denny Hastert’s Illinois House seat is a bad precursor for GOP prospects in the fall, but in the House and Senate, not necessarily in the presidential race.
Indeed, a presidential contest is a personality contest as much as a referendum on one party or the other. Thus McCain could win even in a primarily Democratic year.
On the right, there is a decided lack of enthusiasm for McCain. Sure, most Republicans and conservatives will vote for him, as they would have voted for any of the GOP candidates, but their enthusiasm is way, way down. And some will certainly just stay home, as some did in the 2006 mid-term elections (which contributed to the massive GOP losses).
One caveat: There remains a 40 percent chance that events will conspire, new revelations will emerge which will derail McCain’s candidacy before he is officially nominated in St. Paul on Sept. 3. Certain things are percolating in the media and elsewhere that could yet undermine McCain. More on this to come in the weeks ahead.
Assuming the 60 percent likelihood that he is the GOP nominee in the fall, he could win the presidency. And that seems not to enthuse the right one bit. Many ask, If McCain wins, what is the real difference between him and Obama or Hillary? All three will grant amnesty to illegals, all three will raise taxes and increase the role of the federal government in our lives. With a Democratic Congress, McCain will “work with them” rather than take them on.
He much prefers to fight against Republicans than against Democrats.
Any thought of a GOP agenda is long gone. What agenda? What program to address our problems? What solution to the deteriorating economy?
McCain — at best — is a hold-the-fort vote against the radical leftist views of Obama and Hillary. But his election will not excite anyone; it will depress the Democrats who, if they blow this election, will ask themselves if they can ever win the White House again.
McCain’s biggest problem is the deteriorating economy. He can’t re-focus the election on national security. Instead he will have to talk economics, a topic he once said he doesn’t know much about.
Obama and Hillary are deeply flawed candidates in a year the Democrats should have swept everything.
Leave it up to that party to blow it — even when it is all teed up for a big victory for them.
Conclusion: Look for a big Ssrprise by the summer.
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