McCain-Rice Beats Obama-Clinton in New York

McCain-Rice Beats Obama-Clinton in New York A McCain-Rice ticket could carry New York, a new poll says. GETTY IMAGES 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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Everybody in CT hates Lieberman. Recent polls have shown that most people say today they wish they had voted for Lamont on ’06. The only group who still prefer Lieberman are registered Republicans (who go for him 4:1).

  2. Janet says:

    Any polls re: McCain vs. the Dems are really meaningless. Until McCain is actually running against a particular Democrat, and a particular Democrat, along with the party, is running AGAINST McCain the public hasn’t formed a true opinion of him. Wait… it will all come out.

  3. mike says:

    Haven’t her failures for the past 8 years been enough?

  4. yetanotherjohn says:

    I agree that polls this earlier don’t mean much, but…

    I doubt Romney or Huckabee would have been polling this well in NY even with the democratic primary.

    If the democrats go until the convention (and it is a divided convention), then I am not sure your idea that they will just magically heal and come together holds true. If the nomination is decided by June, then I think you are right. The one thing that could queer the pitch is a “Willie Horton” ad that one could run on the other and then played directly or by 527s next fall. And of course the fact that they keep trying to flank each other to the left which puts more ground for them to make up getting back to the center this fall.

  5. Janet says:

    Not to mention the fact that Rice, along with most of the top ppl in the administration actually had a meeting and hand picked what forms of torture would be used by the American military. That just came out this week, so, I doubt McCain would want Rice as a VP while she’s answering to a war crimes investigation. This info just came out this week.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Jeff, everybody you know hates Lieberman. The voting public will elect him again. Anyone who thinks a far, far left inexperienced empty suit of a candidate has any chance of winning in the general election just need to review who is running. With a list of friends like Rezko, Wright and Ayers. With books about his communist father (which he leaves out of the book) and a brother who is a radical muslim. Do you really think the majority of Americans are going to go along with the man who supports a preacher who says “God bless America, no no no, God damn America”? And that support has lasted 20 years. I smell a McCain landslide.

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Janet, if you think waterboarding is torture. What do you think of some of the methods used by Saddam or al Qaeda? You know, ones that actually cause pain and injury. Do you, Janet always wear the kid gloves you have on to treat those who would kill you and your children in the most hideous manner imaginable? Ask Richard Perl about torture. Sorry, he is not talking any more.

  8. sam says:

    I smell a McCain landslide.

    What you’re smelling is bullshit.

  9. mike says:

    Zelsdorf – sorry but I am not a member of AQ or a Saddamite – just b/c they torture does not mean anyone including the US (leader of freedom/rights etc… or are you against all these principles as well) should do it- torture is wrong no matter who does it – did you ever wonder why every single two star JAG (meaning the top JAG) for each branch of service currently serving (and the previous ones as well) all agreed that water boarding is torture and cannot be used by service members and that the GC applies and outlaws waterboarding and torture?

  10. Hal says:

    Yea, I’d have to say that Rice’s apparent direct participation in a war crime would tend to make her quite radioactive in the general.

    Then-National Security Advisor Rice, sources said, was decisive. Despite growing policy concerns — shared by Powell — that the program was harming the image of the United States abroad, sources say she did not back down, telling the CIA: “This is your baby. Go do it.”

    I gotta say that John McCain having a VP that approved water boarding of prisoners would truly be a virtuouso pandering performance for the man, though. Considering what he endured in Vietnam, and what he’s said in the past, I can just see the ads that will be running non-stop and I simply couldn’t wait for the VP debates. Man, that’d be so frickin’ cool.

  11. Michael says:

    Ask Richard Perl about torture. Sorry, he is not talking any more.

    Richard Perle? I’m pretty sure he’s still talking.

  12. Janet says:

    Zelsdorf… yes waterboarding is torture. It was torture when we convicted the Japanese of doing it after WWII… we called it a “war crime”. It’s torture when we do it too, and a war crime.

    And FYI… even McCain said he was an American traitor under torture, because TORTURE DOESN’T WORK… it gets bogus confessions so, other than using it as revenge, there is no reason for it in the first place. In the second place, it’s immoral.

  13. Janet says:

    Rice more than approved and authorized of the use of torture, she helped hand pick the methods. So… they’re thinking of her for VP?? I say “bring it on”!

  14. Homer Raulks says:

    Obama’s Dubious Affiliations
    The only possible reason why anyone would vote for Obama is because he is black.
    This is the most insidious form of racial discrimination.
    There is no way a white man with the same background and credentials could ever be elected even as a senator.

    Look at Obama’s affiliations:
    – Mr. Rezko is Obama’s long time friend and a major mob figure.
    – Mr. Auchi is a billionaire and major financial sponsor for Obama’s rise to power throughout the past years.
    While working with Saddam Hussein, Auchi made his money through the sell of arms in Iraq and by stealing money from the Oil for Food program (no wonder Obama voted against invading Iraq)
    – Mr. Wright is a racist who hates America and whites and is reminiscent of Hitler and has been Mr. Obama’s teacher for over 20 years.
    – Senator Meeks who openly hates whites and gays and is one of Obama’s major supporters and is Obama;s super-delegate listed on Obama’s Obama’s campaign website. Mr. Meeks has also been integral in helping Mr. Obama succeed in politics.
    – Mr. Ayers members of the Weather Underground, a group that killed police and tried to bomb the US Capitol served with Obama on the board of the leftist foundation called the Woods Fund.
    – Mr. McPeaks is Obama’s military adviser and national campaign co-chairman who claims that American Jews are the “problem.” and “Christian Zionists were driving America’s policy in Iraq to benefit Israel.”
    – Michelle Obama trumpets Obama as “the second coming of the messiah,” and also states that she “has never been proud to be an AMERICAN in her adult life”.

    The list goes on…

    How can Obama’s bad judgment and affiliation with criminals and fanatics be justified?

    Oh! And don’t forget Obama’s desire to add Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the above list. Didn’t Mussolini choose Hitler to be his friend? We certainly will be able to add Ahmadinejad to the future list of Obama’s friends as we hide in our nuclear shelters.

    Hey everybody – am I missing something here?

    It seems to me that perhaps instead of electing Obama president, it would be easier if we just shot our collective foot.

  15. Janet says:

    Homer, you’re spreading the right wing radio hack’s swift boating attempt. Talk about desperation.

  16. Bruce Moomaw says:

    If we’re going to try flaying Obama just because of a few of his associates — if that’s even the word for some of them, since his “association” with Ayers seems to consist entirely of their both showing up at the same big party held by a liberal Chicago political activist in 1996 — the little matter of McCain’s association with Pastor Hagee (and, for that matter, his peace overtures toward Falwell before the latter’s death) come to mind. It was Falwell and Pat Robertson, after all, who announced the day after the 9-11 attacks that they were God’s punishment of the US for supporting gay rights, and Hagee later said the same thing. For morally repulsive comments in the wake of that tragedy, this definitely gives Wright a run for his money.

    By the way, Hagee also announced during a CNN interview two days ago, wearing a grim dead-serious expression, that it wasn’t HIM who first called the Catholic Church “the Great Whore” — it’s the Book of Revelations that says that. Which just proves yet again that loony bigoted white pastors can get away with much, much more in America than loony bigoted black pastors can, for the simple reason that there are a lot more white people in this country and the L.W.P.s therefore have much bigger congregations.

  17. Bruce Moomaw says:

    I’m very suspicious of that Marist Poll — virtually all nationwide polls right now show both Democrats running about even with McCain nationwide, which makes it VERY unlikely that he’s be running even with them in one of the most Democratic states in the Union (let alone Hillary’s home state). I’m even more suspicious of this poll given the apparent huge difference it shows in McCain’s popularity depending on whether he has Rice or Lieberman as his running mate.

    But I can’t so easily shrug off today’s Rasmussen polls showing McCain actually running a bit further ahead of Obama in Ohio than in Alaska or Montana ( )! A bunch of recent polls of Southern and border states by Rasmussen and Survey USA suggest that Obama’s popularity among Southern working-class whites (a lot of whom have moved to Ohio) has collapsed because of the Pastor Wright affair, but that he’s still fairly popular with non-Southern working-class whites. A poll of low-education whites by Gallup today has hinted at something similar. We just might end up with a really ugly, racially divisive general-election campaign.

  18. Bruce Moomaw says:

    I should also add that, after Obama sat down for a 3-hour grilling by reporters from the Chicago Tribune (which has been the major paper trumpeting the Rezko matter), the paper announced in an editorial that Obama had answered every single question at length without any apparent attempt to conceal anything, and that the Tribune has therefore dropped its unease about him. I should also add that Rezko also has some links to the Clintons — and that most of his co-defendants in the current indictment have made contributions to the Clintons, but NOT made any to Obama.

  19. anjin-san says:

    Hmmm, McCain & The Secretary of State, errr Torture