Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2008 / 27 Iyar 5768

No, McCain Isn't ‘Doomed’

By John H. Fund


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some pundits claim John McCain has no chance of beating Barack Obama. "The current bundle of economic troubles should doom any Republican hoping to succeed George Bush," says NBC's Chris Matthews. "It's almost impossible to believe that another Republican could get elected," insists Katty Kay, the BBC's Washington-based correspondent. They need to better understand the rhythms of presidential campaigns and show more humility in a year that's been chock full of political surprises.


Some Democrats claim new polls by Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times showing Sen. McCain trailing by 15 points in each seal the deal on an Obama presidency. But both polls appear to be outliers. Other polls show the race to be close.


Both surveys polled registered, not likely, voters. Normally, only two-thirds of those end up casting ballots, and nonvoters lean Democratic. Second, Democrats had a 14-point advantage in Newsweek's sample, and a 17-point advantage in the Times poll, with Republicans making up only 22% of respondents. That's an unusually low number. Most other polls have the party ID gap with a significantly smaller Democratic edge.


Republicans shouldn't panic, but they should be worried. The McCain campaign reflects the candidate's impulsive nature and hasn't articulated a consistent reform agenda. President Bush's job rating has collapsed. One recent survey found only 53% of Republicans now approve of his performance. Sen. Obama will have so much money to spend he can microtarget millions of his supporters early and deliver absentee ballots — which are prone to abuse — to them.


This election reminds some of the 1980 race, when voters were clearly looking for a reason to vote the incumbent party out of the White House. Even so, Jimmy Carter kept even with Ronald Reagan well into October by painting him as risky and out of the mainstream. Then, in the home stretch, Reagan finally convinced voters he was sensible and trustworthy, and wound up winning by double digits.


Barack Obama is roughly in the same position as Reagan was back then. He is untested in foreign policy. His record in office clearly leans left, with the nonpartisan National Journal rating him the most liberal U.S. senator. When asked this month by ABC News when he had ever broken with liberal orthodoxy and taken risks with his base — as Bill Clinton did on trade, culture and welfare — Mr. Obama had little to say. At a meeting of Obama voters I attended this week, some bemoaned the fact that many of their friends backed him solely because of his cool "name brand" and vague message of change.


The McCain campaign can't expect to win the election on the strength of their man's personal appeal or character. He is most likely to win by engaging Mr. Obama on the issues, and forcing debates over competing visions of foreign policy, and the size and scope of government. Tackling concerns about energy and food costs are key.


Here Mr. McCain has an opening. On many core issues, the country still leans right of center. In last week's Washington Post poll, 50% of voters favored a smaller government with fewer services while 45% wanted a bigger government with more services — the same percentage breakdown as in June 2004.


In the Democratic primaries, Mr. Obama's ideas were rarely challenged. In the fall, they will be. "This election is remarkably fluid with two nonincumbents running," says pollster Scott Rasmussen. "Some 30% of voters say they could easily change their minds, and a third of independent voters aren't paying much attention yet."


There is evidence that fall campaigns, which tend to focus voters on big-picture issues, usually help Republicans. In 1976, Gerald Ford was seen as a goner during the summer but rallied to finish only two points behind Jimmy Carter. A dozen years later, Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush in June and July. He lost by eight points in the fall. In 1992, Bill Clinton had a 10-point lead around Labor Day. He won by only five and a half points. Even Bob Dole closed a 12-point Labor Day gap to only eight points by November 1996. If that history is a guide, a focused McCain campaign that clearly contrasts conservative and liberal approaches to the issues should have a good chance of winning.


After all, it isn't easy for Democrats to win in a two-person race for president. Since FDR's last victory in 1944, only one Democrat — Lyndon Johnson in 1964 — has won 50.1% or more of the popular vote. Both of Bill Clinton's victories were aided by Ross Perot's presence on the ballot.


Mr. Clinton's 1996 re-election offers another lesson. Facing a presidential defeat in addition to losses in Congress, Republicans boldly appealed to the public's fondness for divided government. They put out ads featuring a fortune-teller staring into a crystal ball showing over-the-top scenes of Biblical devastation, plague and conflict. An announcer warned: "Remember the last time Democrats ran everything? The largest tax increase in history. Government-run health care. More wasteful spending. Who wants that again? Don't let the media stop you from voting. And don't hand Bill Clinton a blank check."


It worked. Republicans kept control of Congress. Haley Barbour, then chairman of the Republican Party and now governor of Mississippi, said at the time that voters responded to the idea they needed an insurance policy against one-party rule. Independent voters may not like the idea of having the government completely controlled by the trio of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.


If Republicans had a better sense of why Democrats so often slump during fall campaigns, more of them would come out of the tall grass where they've been hiding and earn a presidential victory the old-fashioned way — by focusing on the worth of their ideas. Their additional challenge this year is also convincing voters they've learned from the mistakes they made when they abandoned those ideas.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor John H. Fund is author, most recently, of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Comment on this column by clicking here.

ARCHIVES

© 2006, John H. Fund

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles