McCain Dismisses Recent Polling Data

John McCain is reportedly dismissing recent polling data which shows that his polling in South Carolina to be in single digits.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday dismissed polls that show him slipping into single digits, arguing that his campaign is going through the typical ups and downs and will be fine this fall.


A recent state poll showed McCain at just 7 percent in the race with top rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson close to announcing. A survey in Iowa also showed McCain in single digits.

“That poll is just not true,” McCain said in the interview, referring to the South Carolina poll. With “veterans alone, we are doing much better than that.”

Obviously, McCain is right to not give too much credence to polls at this point in time. There’s still a lot of campaigning left to go.

Additionally, although I probably wouldn’t vote for a McCain ticket, I think that he’s still pretty much the favorite to win the Republican nomination. At the very least, I agree with my colleague James in the post below that he’s not down for the count yet.

The GOP has a rather long tradition of putting up candidates when “they’re due for it” (see Dole, Bob), regardless of merit. Plus, Giuliani’s campaign has a really strong chance of imploding due to the many, many skeletons in his closet. Romney doesn’t have the charisma or the trust of the base, and Fred Thompson’s campaign is pretty much just a passing fad. (Once word starts to get out that he’s spent most of the past 20 years as a Washington lobbyist, he’s going to be hard pressed to run as a “Washington outsider.”)

As far as I can tell, the Republican field both now and in the foreseeable future doesn’t actually have anyone with the ability to knock off McCain over the long haul of the remaining primary campaign.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. An interesting difference between vying for the Republican versus the Democratic nomination is the lack of Super Delegates in the Republican process. McCain has to be ahead in two types of statewide polls if he wants to pull ahead.

    First, the early states — and the definition of “early” has changed. California voters will have absentee ballots in hand before the Iowa caucuses. Which means the most dedicated California Republicans will have voted before the results are known from Iowa or New Hampshire.

    Second the big states — and the definition of “big” has also changed. With Nevada holding its caucus so early it will impact the former flow of the nomination process making it imperative to come on early and strong.