Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain up big in new Montana poll

As Montana Headlines has pointed out, the selection of Sarah Palin for Veep should make Montana a wrap for Sen. McCain, even in a worst case scenario. The most recent Rasmussen poll shows McCain leading 53% to 42%

More importantly, 70% of McCain supporters in Montana say that they are enthusiastically voting for McCain, while only 28% say that they are primarily voting against Sen. Obama. This is quite comparable to the 79% and 18% numbers among Obama supporters in Montana -- the enthusiasm gap appears to have been largely erased. Based on anecdotal MH experience talking to Republicans, this is an accurate assessment of the right-leaning part of the Montana voting public. It is also a phenomenal turn-around for McCain, and has to be in large part attributed to Gov. Palin's addition to the ticket, not to mention the new general excitement around the McCain campaign.

With the addition of Ron Paul to the ballot, it is said that this could turn the state to Sen. Obama, but this is far from certain. The Montana GOP treated Ron Paul supporters very well, especially when compared to other state organizations. Several former Ron Paul supporters that MH has spoken to have made up their minds to vote for John McCain, in large part because he chose a conservative running mate. Is this representative? Only time will tell, but the wisdom that Erik Iverson showed in welcoming Paul supporters into the party and treating them warmly at the state convention should pay off by at least not having made them hostile to the party organization (other than the malcontents that tend to attach themselves to fringe movements of any kind, who are never satisfied.)

Not that Paulinistas are going to become raving McCainiacs -- but at the very least there isn't the animosity that would have come had Ron Paul's people not been allowed to have their say and to have a genuine, fair shot at nabbing Montana's delegates.

As the choice becomes clear on the differences between McCain and Obama, it would be suprising if Paul and Barr together break 5% in the final vote tally.


Update: We can perhaps expect the coming state-by-state polls in Western states to follow this trend. The grand "Western strategy" of the Obama campaign may be coming to an ignominious end. Or at least we can hope -- and continue to watch the polls.

No comments: