The House of Representatives and the Senate both have Democratic majorities and many say that the Democrats won in November because people are ready for a change, so where does that leave Republican Presidential candidate John McCain?
According to a recent Gallup poll (March 7) 44 percent of Republicans and Republican leaders said they would rather vote for his main opponent, Rudy Giuliani, despite his being the more liberal candidate, and only 20 percent said they would vote for McCain.
So why is McCain less popular than Giuliani among Republican voters? He has a distinguished military record, he is against abortion, he supports the Bush administrations efforts in Iraq and he is against gay marriage. So what caused McCain to go from the frontrunner to second best?
One reason McCain doesn’t have a chance this upcoming election is recent anti-Republican sentiments. With the recent debacle the Bush administration is facing with Iraq, voters and especially Democrats do not want another four years under a Republican president.
Republican voters might also just be looking for someone not as right-leaning as the current president. Bush’s approval ratings are at 33 percent and Republicans are looking for someone different to represent them. McCain is not that guy.
Republican voters are looking for someone who can beat Hillary Clinton. Recent polls as of Feb. 9 show that if the election came down to Clinton and McCain 50 percent of undecided voters said they would vote for Clinton and 47 percent said they would vote for McCain. If the election were between Clinton and Giuliani, 50 percent of voters said they would vote for Giuliani and 48 percent said they would vote for Clinton.
The term flip-flopper has also come to be associated with McCain. He likes to call himself “straight-talking” and an “independent maverick” who stood up to his own party on the anti-torture amendment; however, in the Senate he has voted as a conservative Republican, not the “independent,” which he dubbed himself.
Despite a long record of voting against abortion rights, in August of 1999 McCain told the San Francisco Chronicle that “certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”
However in November of 2006, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, McCain stated, “I’m a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I don’t believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade.”
Although being the self-proclaimed maverick, McCain seems to be choosing sides based on what the party sees fit. Despite voting for the war and voting to spend $86 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, McCain now says that the President was ill-advised when it came to Iraq and that his former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “will go down in history, along with McNamara, as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.”
McCain also met with crazy evangelical pastor Jerry Falwell last year after once calling him an “agent of intolerance” and is now taking a more religiously right stance.
Back in 2000 McCain collided often with the Republican party and seemed to be on the brink of beating Bush. Back in 2000 liberals whispered to each other that this might be the time they vote for a Republican, and even Kerry asked him to run on the Democratic ticket.
The McCain of 2000 is gone. Instead in his place there is the McCain of 2007, who seems to be trying to please his party and the religious right instead of being the self-proclaimed independent maverick. Perhaps McCain should worry less about pleasing his party and more about pleasing the country.