It’s About the Votes, Rush

February 24, 2010 at 5:05 pm 1 comment

Sarah Palin, despite her attempts to become the leader of the hard-line-conservative Tea Party Movement, recently endorsed John McCain for reelection over his opponent, J.D. Hayworth. Mitt Romney, despite similar efforts to attract more Conservatives to his camp, and despite being passed over for the 2012 Vice Presidential nomination by McCain, just did the exact same thing. This has Rush Limbaugh, the king of Conservative media, shaking his head:

“I like Mitt Romney, but I think he’s risking his career over a guy, endorsing McCain, who is so out of step with what’s going on right now. McCain’s always conservative when he’s running for reelection in Arizona. The tea parties have produced a wave of conservatism that have swept Republicans-in-name-only aside. I understand Palin endorsing McCain. She’s got no choice. Loyalty, plus if she doesn’t the media will cream her, “Oh, he’s good enough to be president but you won’t endorse him to be Senator?” And it’s understandable Romney would endorse Brown, but I don’t understand Romney endorsing McCain. I just don’t think it’s going to fly. These endorsements are unnecessary. What is there to gain by this?”

Rush is actually right on Palin – she doesn’t have much choice unless she wants to face a firestorm of criticism for jumping ship against the man who made her what she is today. Yet Romney, despite Rush’s view, may not have much choice either; certainly both potential 2012 candidates have much to gain by supporting McCain.

In the end, it’s about votes – the millions and millions of votes and dozens that McCain won in the 2008 primaries, over which he likely still has significant influence. By all accounts, the 2012 race is exceptionally close right now, with the top three candidates trading the lead back and forth, with each one claiming leads in different states. What will no doubt influence the result heavily is the high percentage of voters, in some cases, who backed candidates who will not be running this season – with McCain at the top of the list.

As we discussed earlier on this site, Sarah Palin is not doing much to take away from Mike Huckabee, and almost nothing at all to take away from Romney. Thus far, most of her support seems to be coming directly out of the McCain camp – that would make a 2012 endorsement critical. Although Palin has a debt of loyalty to McCain, it does not run in the opposite direction, in fact, McCain is free to make whatever kind of statement he wants about her in 2012 – although an endorsement of Romney or another candidate, who he opposed so strongly, would be particularly damaging.

Romney, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from a McCain endorsement. Although already known to be doing well among moderates as well as Conservatives, the McCain nod would permit Romney to unify  those voters to the left of him, while focusing more on those to the right – those who are important in early states like Iowa, as well as the numerous straw polls which will be held in the coming months and years.

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Entry filed under: Nation, Politics. Tags: , , , , .

The First 2012 Projections: Why Palin May Not Win a Single State

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Thomas Paine  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Will the McCain endorsement hold much sway in the Republican primaries in 2012? It seems like once someone loses a ntaional election his endorsement doesn’t mean much. I’m thinking of people in the past such as Kerry and Dole.

    Reply

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