Politico's Martin wrote of McCain's "progressive views" but didn't note immigration flip-flop or poor LCV score

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

The Politico's Jonathan Martin wrote that Sen. John McCain's "comprehensive approach to immigration reform could play well with Hispanics at all income levels," and that "his passion for addressing climate change and zeal for political reform could appeal to the sort of affluent, well-educated voters who have largely abandoned the GOP in the Bush years." But Martin did not note that McCain has shifted his position on comprehensive immigration reform and that he has a lifetime rating of 24 percent from the League of Conservation Voters.

In a March 13 Politico article headlined, "Maverick wants to paint blue states red," senior political writer Jonathan Martin wrote of Sen. John McCain, "[I]t's precisely immigration, the environment and campaign finance reform that the Arizona senator's camp hopes will attract targeted unaligned and Democratic voters." Martin added: "While McCain's comprehensive approach to immigration reform could play well with Hispanics at all income levels, his passion for addressing climate change and zeal for political reform could appeal to the sort of affluent, well-educated voters who have largely abandoned the GOP in the Bush years." But Martin did not note that McCain has abandoned his own comprehensive immigration reform proposal, saying that he would no longer support it if it came up for a vote in the Senate. McCain now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Further, in mentioning the "environment" as one area "the Arizona senator's camp hopes will attract targeted unaligned and Democratic voters," Martin did not note that McCain has a lifetime score of 24 percent from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

Other media outlets have reported that McCain "said his pro-environment positions" would "make him competitive" in California and that McCain "say[s] his outlook on such issues as the environment will be a help in the traditionally blue state [of California]" -- without noting his LCV rating.

From Martin's March 13 Politico article:

By virtue of his maverick brand, nontraditional stances on key issues and his Western roots, McCain may be able to compete in states that were far out of reach for Bush and that have otherwise been trending away from Republicans. This potential, say McCain strategists and other Republicans, could amount to the GOP's ace in the hole in an otherwise dismal political climate.

[...]

Beyond McCain's independent image, of course, there are votes that will help him with blue state voters -- the same votes that underscore why he's caused his own party heartburn.

Mitt Romney rattled off "McCain-Kennedy," "McCain-Lieberman" and "McCain-Feingold" like they were four-letter words toward the end of the GOP primary, but it's precisely immigration, the environment and campaign finance reform that the Arizona senator's camp hopes will attract targeted unaligned and Democratic voters.

The first of these could help McCain play political defense in competitive, formerly red states more than anything else. In fast-growing states like Colorado and Nevada, he could potentially offset unfavorable demographic trends with an appeal to Hispanic voters that a more orthodox Republican candidate with a hard-line immigration approach couldn't make. For the same reason, New Mexico, which Bush carried by a small margin after losing it by an even smaller margin in 2000, could also favor McCain.

While McCain's comprehensive approach to immigration reform could play well with Hispanics at all income levels, his passion for addressing climate change and zeal for political reform could appeal to the sort of affluent, well-educated voters who have largely abandoned the GOP in the Bush years.

Such progressive views would likely play best in the same states that have shown a penchant for independence -- select parts of the Northeast, upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

Posted In
Elections
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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