Thursday, November 1, 2007

McCain Articles Maps and Media 11/1/07

McCain more Competitive Against Clinton Than Giuliani - State stats and map

TV Ad - Guts

New McCain TV ad highlights corruption fight

Fox News: John McCain Stresses Opposition To Mandatory Health Insurance,2933,307101,00.html

Politico’s Martin Blog: McCain Mail Hits SC

National Review’s Campaign Spot Blog: Team McCain's Strategy Memo: Only Our Guy Keeps Conservatives AND Beats Hillary

By Jim Geraghty

Since this cycle began, Rudy Giuliani has promoted himself as the most electable Republican candidate against Hillary Clinton.

A little while back, we noted that GOP voters were starting to see Fred Thompson as almost as likely to beat Hillary. Of course, the suggestion that Hillary Clinton gets about 48 percent against all of the top candidates, including Ron Paul, might argue that electability is a fairly small distinction among the top GOP candidates this year.

The McCain camp is ready to make the case that their man is the one who is most electable where it counts. And they’ve got nifty colorful graphics to prove it in their latest Strategy Memo, found here.

Their argument relies on Survey USA polls from fourteen states matching Hillary Clinton up against Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, conducted since mid-October. Expecting the argument that other polls may show better head-to-head matchups for other candidates, the memo from Rick Davis argues, “It is important to use a single polling company to evaluate states across the country so that you do not pick and choose polls that might be favorable. For the purposes of this analysis we have standardized using the Survey USA Polling firm that has run the most state‐by‐state polls across the country.”

In a nutshell, they say that there are three states where McCain performs better than Giuliani where both lead Hillary significantly: Arkansas, Kansas and New Mexico.There are four states where McCain beats Hillary, but that Giuliani loses: Virginia, Washington, Ohio and Kentucky.

There are three states that McCain is trailing Hillary, but still matches up better than Giuliani does: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. In two states they do equally lousy against Hillary: Iowa and Oregon.

And their central point is the states that Giuliani performs better than McCain – New York and California, are two states where Hillary is way ahead anyway.

Is the argument compelling? In its broadest outlines, yes. Some will quibble about using only SurveyUSA, but polls have generally shown McCain running fairly well head-to-head against Hillary nationally, and he’s always demonstrated a certain capacity to bring over independents. (The L.A. Times, polling registered voters instead of likely voters, put her up by 10. Among recent polls of likely voters, Hillary’s up 1, up 1, up 2, up 6, and up 2.)

There are a few results a little surprising in this mix – would McCain really perform better than Giuliani in Washington state? And they’re both are losing Missouri right now? If the Show-Me State is looking blue in 2008, it’s going to be a tough year for the GOP.

We can pick at the details, but I think this memo is the birth certificate of a new argument from the McCain camp that GOP primary voters ought to chew over: “Some of my rivals match up well against Hillary (Giuliani); some of my rivals won’t irk social conservative Republicans (Thompson). I’m the only one who can do both.”

(How did I get my hands on this McCain campaign strategy memo? I knifed one of his guys in an alley.)

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