Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why John McCain Will Never Win

I almost wrote the polar opposite of this article: John McCain, Surgin’ Back? He has a lot of bipartisan support, plenty of endorsements, was right about the surge, and is a solid conservative. The only thing missing is his unpopular immigration position and funds. But that’s the thing: McCain will never succeed because of his immigration position.

His poll numbers have been rising, sure, but as I’ve argued before, Republicans have no dream candidate. They are going through “fads”, almost.

But there’s an even broader issue here: immigration is showing up to be the most decisive primary election issue, more decisive than the Iraq war and terrorism even. One reason for this is that all candidates have expressed their positions on the war, and it’s turned out to be a matter of Republican or Democrat; Republicans want to stay (excluding Ron Paul), and Democrats want to leave.

There’s more than that: illegal immigration, many Americans feel, is actually affecting them on almost a day to day basis, unlike the Iraq war.

The other case that brings me to believe this is Clinton and driver's licenses. Her downturn in the polls started after her gaffe responding to the question of illegal immigrant's rights to driver licenses. She was really hit hard on her answer to that.

I think it’s fair to say that illegal immigration (along with the economy, which go hand in hand) will turn out to be the deciding factor during the primaries. It won’t necessarily be the most important, but it will be the deciding factor.

The general election?

Just as the Democrats have popular support for their plan to get out of Iraq, the Republicans will have popular support for their appearance of taking a “tough line” on illegal immigration.

So, a lot of it comes down to: are concerns over immigration more important than concerns over terrorism and foreign policy?

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