Could McCain Win Massachusetts?

Real Clear Politics has a column today from a lawyer from Newton, Mass. who believes that John McCain could win enough independents in the Bay State to claim its 12 electoral votes.  The key excerpt:

“Can a Republican presidential candidate win in Massachusetts? The answer seems to be yes, as John McCain appeals more strongly to the state’s independent ‘majority’ than his likely Democratic opponent Barack Obama. At the very least, the contest will be tight and Massachusetts voters will get to experience up close a competitive presidential campaign for the first time in 24 years.”

I think this is a fairly absurd analysis.  If McCain wins Massachusetts, then the only state he’ll lose is Illinois or New York, depending on who Democrats nominate.

I’m seeing a lot of freewheeling electoral map analysis these days, with would-be pundits predicting  such far-flung scenarios as Obama winning Mississippi, Clinton taking Tennessee and McCain turning Taxachusetts red.

I’m a big believer that the electoral map is a purple mosaic that is always shifting.  But McCain winning in the state of Smith College, Ted Kennedy and same-sex marriage?  Get real.

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2 responses to “Could McCain Win Massachusetts?

  1. I read the analysis at RCP.

    “I think this is a fairly absurd analysis. If McCain wins Massachusetts, then the only state he’ll lose is Illinois or New York, depending on who Democrats nominate.”

    The author’s point was not that McCain is competitive period in MA, but that he is competitive against Obama. Clinton wins MA in a walk; Obama vs. McCain is closer. All of the recent polling evidence in GE head-to-heads bears this out.

    Why? Those blue collar independents that are cited by the RCP blogger are essentially Reagan Democrats. They have tied their star to the Democratic party as “better” on economic issues that hit closest to home, but they are not married to the party and will vote for a GOP candidate if they see the party going too far afield.

    Obama lost the MA primary by a stunning margin, given his support from Kennedy, Kerry, and Patrick. In the state, Kerry and especially Patrick might be albatrosses for Obama, given their (un) popularity.

    Again, all of the polling evidence is that Obama could not count on Massachusetts in the general. He would have to campaign there and spend precious resources in a state that really ought to be blue- resources that Clinton could spend in Ohio or Florida.

  2. Massachusetts seems out of McCain’s reach, but what do I know? They’re saying he has a shot in New Jersey, too, which I find hard to believe. On the other hand, the Garden State does seem to have a weakness for moderate Republicans in the executive (Tom Kean, Christie Whitman).

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