The Big Issue

It’s been a while since I did a deep horse race post, but for those of you who find my insight particularly useful, fret not. I can’t go too long without indulging in my purest addiction.

Still, it’s a funny thing. Those of us who really delve into the inner workings of campaigns and follow polls with unmatched scrutiny, we sometimes have this problem wherein we forget the bigger picture. Yeah, we’ll wax poetic, or unpoetic, from time to time about how this little incident will have a catastrophic effect, or that incident, but in truth, the big issue of the day is just as important.

I grudgingly admit that most the time, the big issue of the day is even more important than our inside baseball politics.

With that in mind, there’s some bad news for any potential Republican presidential candidate not named Ron Paul or Chuck Hagel (I would have added Mike Bloomberg, but… well, you know). The reason for this is due to a recent poll suggesting that GOP base support for the war is slipping.

For the longest time, only about a third of Republicans were against the war, a stark contrast to the two thirds of the general American public, but according to the CNN poll, this is beginning to change. With the surge in place, and top generals and administration officials almost immediately lowering and pushing off standards, coupled with the defection of two republican senators from the pro war, the fact is, war support is dwindling fast.

This doesn’t bode well for the largely prowar Gopper field because, simply put, you can say whatever you want about Hillary’s campaign or Fred Thompson’s non-campaign, the fact of the matter is, when voters hit the polls next November, barring substantial change to the landscape, they’re going to be thinking about Iraq, and who’s going to bring us out.

At this point, the best the GOP field can hope for is that we do succeed in getting us out of Iraq, and then it falls into complete and total despair. This would give the Republicans something to blame on the Democrats. But even this would be a tricky feat to pull off considering that all Democrats have to do is go to the WILDLY successful tactic of blaming Bush.

“Much like everything else in his presidency, President Bush botched the extrication. Go figure, when you vote me in, I’ll clean up yet ANOTHER one of his messes.”

And sadly, the Goppers are too embedded into their prowar mentality and campaign messages that it is virtually unfeasable to “flip-flop” on the issue. So the pundits can wease and bang all they want, sometimes it’s the Big Issue that does it.

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