Friday, August 22, 2008

About the pro-life vote

Phil Klein at AmSpecBlog examines why Maverick must have a pro-life running mate:
The idea that John McCain would benefit from picking a pro-choicer is rooted in the assumption that he already has locked up the base. . . .
But examining actual data on the white evangelical vote just released by Pew tells a different story. At first glance, it looks like McCain is doing quite well -- he's beating Obama 68-24 among this group, which is virtually identical to the 71-24 advantage Bush had over Kerry in August of 2004. However, if you take a deeper look at the numbers, it turns out that McCain's support is much softer -- only 28 percent "strongly" support McCain, compared to 57 percent who "strongly" supported Bush. . . .
[T]he less enthusiastic support makes me wonder about turnout. In Ohio, for instance, if evangelical turnout dropped just a few points at the same time that Obama was able to boost black turnout, that could very well be the ball game.
The buzz this week about Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge and Rudy Giuliani as vice-presidential possibilities is evidence of the tendency among political and media elites to think voters are stupid.

With a 71-year-old candidate, this year's running mate is more obviously than ever about the future direction of the party. Voters know this. That's why appointing a pro-choice running mate -- even to consider such a move -- risks abandonment by the party's base.

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