McCain-Rice Beats Obama-Clinton in New York
A John McCain-Condolezza Rice ticket would beat the Democratic “Dream Ticket” of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Clinton’s “home” state of New York, a Marist College poll shows.
A McCain/Rice ticket would edge out both a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket for New York’s 31, usually true blue, electoral votes: 49% of registered voters in New York State support a John McCain/Condoleezza Rice ticket compared with 46% who support Hillary Clinton as president and Barack Obama as vice president. The Democrats don’t fare any better in New York with Obama at the top of the ticket as president and Clinton as vice president. McCain/Rice receives 49%, and Obama/Clinton has 44%. Although an Obama led Democratic ticket does better against McCain/Rice among non-enrolled voters than a Clinton/Obama ticket, Clinton/Obama is stronger with women against the Republicans.
While it’s not inconceivable that McCain could win New York, it’s highly unlikely. Even aside from the fact that Marist polled “registered voters” rather than applying a likely voter screen, any polling is just noise until the Democrats settle their nomination fight.
As noted this morning, McCain is outpolling both Clinton and Obama right now nationally precisely because he doesn’t have an opponent. So long as the Democrats are divided, a large number of Clinton and Obama partisans will tell pollsters that they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate. When push comes to shove, almost all of them will.
That said, this finding is somewhat interesting:
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is not an asset to McCain against a Clinton/Obama ticket in New York. McCain/Lieberman receives the support of only 40% of New York’s registered voters compared with 53% who support a Clinton/Obama ticket. With Lieberman as his running mate, McCain is also behind but competitive in the state against an Obama/Clinton ticket. 45% of registered voters support a McCain/Lieberman ticket compared with 49% who support an Obama/Clinton ticket.
One would think Lieberman, from neighboring Connecticut, would be more attractive to New York Democrats and Independents than the more conservative Rice. Presumably, this reflects the antipathy many Democrats have for the “traitor” Lieberman rather than an ideological preference.
UPDATE: CNN’s Alex Mooney is more excited by the poll than I am, noting that “In 2004, John Kerry beat President Bush there by nearly 20 points. In 2000, the margin between Al Gore and Bush was an even higher 25 points.”
Rice herself attempted to put the speculation to rest Tuesday, saying, “I very much look forward to watching this campaign and voting as a voter — I have a lot of work to do and then I’ll happily go back to Stanford.”
But with polls like this, it’s likely some Republicans hope she reconsiders.
McCain’s already doubling down on the Iraq War, so adding Rice wouldn’t hurt him in that regard. He is, however, working very hard to fight off the notion that he’d represent a “third term” for the unpopular President Bush. I don’t see how running with his most prominent remaining foreign policy staffer would help in that regard.