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Mitt and John will be interesting.

Mitt had a blowout fund raiser last week!

True enough Greg... As I understand it, Flake polled the race just to see and he decided to pass on it. Sure, he was just as bad on the border as McCain, so without that avenue of attack I'm not sure how he would have won, but if McCain loses the presidential primary and decides to run again for U.S. Senate, I think we can almost guarantee a primary... Will it be successful? I don't know... But it will be messy, and that's not a good thing...

McCain was the last Republican I voted for in a party primary. I left the GOP shortly after Bush became the nominee in 2000. I bought into all of McCain's maverick BS and his "I'm the new TR" rhetoric, thinking he could save Republicans from becoming an increasingly narrow and exclusive bunch. Now, I wish I could have my vote back, along with the money I put into the so-called "Straight Talk Express."

Conservatives are right to distrust McCain and to be suspicious of the pleas for support coming to them out of his camp. He is the classic opportunist and no one in public life exemplifies one more, other than perhaps turncoat football coach Nick Saban. He will say anything, suck up to anyone and embrace any cause just to win an election. If you have the audacity to suggest that he engages in chameleon-like behavior, you get a blast of his famous temper, as innumerable colleagues and media members have discovered.

McCain will not be the Republican nominee in 2008 because he is unworthy of trust, the essential ingredient in any recipe for political success. He blasts the religious right in one election because it suits his purposes to do so...and then speaks at Liberty University's commencement ceremony because the dictates of expediency have changed in the run-up to the next election. John Kerry seems firm and steadfast in comparison to McCain, who is happy to get on his knees to beg for help from people who once disparaged his time as a POW, his wife and his adopted child.

I appreciate Tim's comments and mine will be in a similar vein. McCain has lost his moorings and now panders to all sorts of folks. As I Republican I did vote for McCain once upon a time. But I will no longer vote for him, but against him, even if Hillary is running.
Here are my reasons:
1. McCain-Finegold
2. His position on illegal immigration - Shamnesty.
3. His temper
4. His disdain for Evangelical Christians
5. His lack of support for Natinal Guard issues in Arizona.
Tim sums it all up when he says McCain is unworthy of trust.

The poll was not fair. I had my ballots and proxies, and I didn't even know where to turn them in. I think that the whole thing was staged to embarrass McCain. There was even a 'cheat sheet' of acceptable answers. The 'First Choice' choice for President was Duncan Hunter on that sheet, and McCain was listed as an 'Unaccaptable' candidate.

There is only one issue that matters -- the war on terror. All other issues -- marriage, abortion, borders -- are irrelevant if we lose to the islamists.

I will therefore support any candidate who:
a. Will strongly pursue the war
b. Will win

Being right on the war is meaningless if the candidate will lose to an anti-war opponent.

That gives us two choices: McCain or Giuliani.

JC isn't telling the truth. There was no cheat sheet and in the relatively small auditorium at Sunnyslope High School there were at least 10 large plastic bins, clearly labeled, where people could turn in their votes. They also had people standing at the exits holding the bins until the last people had left to ensure that they collected them all.

I don't doubt that the effort was an attempt to embarrass McCain by showing his lack of support. But whatever your opinion of that effort, his lack of support was very real, and no one, especially McCain, should disregard that. Haney collected every ballot he could because he knew that a poll of this group would be bad for McCain, no matter who voted and how many voted. He was right!

BobH said: There is only one issue that matters -- the war on terror. All other issues -- marriage, abortion, borders -- are irrelevant if we lose to the islamists.

I totally agree with you on the importance of the war on terror (and Iraq). Your comment begs the question, though: where do the islamists stand on these other issues?

Let's say, God forbid, the islamists win. Do we become a gay friendly, baby killing, open border country with Osama in charge?

Beats me. I don't think we really have to worry about it b/c I have every confidence we will prevail, but it is an interesting intellectual exercise.

Even if the straw poll was setup to embarass McCain - what does that mean? The Republican Party in the largest and most influential county in the Senator's home state set up a straw poll to gin up dissent against him.

If he can't control the party in his homestate - what makes anyone think he's going to be able to fend off a conservative challenge from Brownback, Romney, or God help us all, Tancredo?

All straw polls are worthless - unless you're Katherine Harris. Then they're the only bright spot in your campaign.

I wholeheartedly agree with Bob's comments. National security and the war on terror will be the main issue in 2008. Gov. Romney has no foreign policy experience, so that makes him unacceptable in my opinion. Sen. McCain's national security experience dwarfs that of Rudy Giuliani. I don't want to take anything away from Mayor Giuliani's role in 9/11 and the great leadership he provided in NYC, but outside of that his experience is pretty thin.

Sen. McCain is the most qualified Republican when it comes to the issue that most voters will be focusing on next year. In addition, he is probably the only qualified Republican that can beat either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama.

As an aside, McCain's judicial appointments will vastly better than any federal nominee to the bench that Clinton or Obama will proffer.

Therefore, McCain in '08.

As a christian conservative I will never vote for McCain. I was also at the meeting where the straw poll was taken. People must remember that this group of Republicans represents the well informed political junkies, not an average voter. We analyze every vote and political move that is made, especially by our own elected officals. All the poll really shows is that in this state McCain won't have too many volunteers. But that's nothing new for this Senator.

McCain is dead in the water. His weak reputation among conservatives means he has to run to the right to win the nomination, which is not a place one wants to run to at this point in American politics. At least McCain has a principled, if foolhardy, approach to Iraq: send LOTS more troops, as opposed to 10 to 20k. But as everyone knows, and only hawkish Republicans are afraid to say, Iraq is lost because it was never winnable, and certainly not winnable by the crew we've had in office for the past six years.

So McCain's position, however consistent and logical, is much worse politically (and practically) than anything any other politician would stake out.

So he's backing a disastrous foreign policy, doesn't do much for social cons, is pretty bad on free speech and economic liberty as well. But he's got an incredibly powerful set of political friends in the elite of the party, which means he wins primaries handily because no credible opposition is permitted or mounted.

Attention Senator McCain: Old Navy has a special on flip flops this week.

"I think McCain/Feingold is poor public policy not to mention that it appears to be unconstitutional."

Once a politician, always a politician.

You can't just call something for what it is? "Appears" to be unconstitutional?

McVain is unpopular with the politically informed while being wildly popular with the uninformed.

I was a p'cmtman for a short bit back in 2002, and was surprised to find how unanimous was the view, for example, that Joe Arpaio is money sucking blowhard. The party leaders seemed to put up with him simply because he was so popular, but no one even pretended to like him or to put forward the idea that he was the mighty Joe that his huge popular support would suggest.

And I'm all for civil, and non-anonymous comments, but turning off comments will shoo readers away as fast as simply not posting anything at all.

Blogging is so popular precisely because it is interactive.

Bob H- I'm sorry, but I asked several people, and I did not see anywhere to turn in my straw poll ballot or proxies (I had several).

And yes, there was a sheet on who to vote for. If I had the ability on this site, I would email it to you personally. I doubt a straw poll would have existed, if it weren't designed to take a stance against McCain. When I first saw the 'straw poll', and then was handed a sheet on who to vote for, it was absolutely evident that we were NOT to vote for McCain. Therefore, one can reasonably assume that that this was nothing more than a mere pot shot and publicity stunt to stick it to McCain.

I think that reporters and news sources should be aware of this, in case they have any inclination to write that this was a 'real' straw poll that was somehow an indication for how Arizona feels about McCain. It was not real. period.

The comment about PCs and activists is right on the money. We tend to overassess our impact no matter which party we are in...the vast majority of people vote name recognition and maybe know a thing or two about the candidates...the county attorney primary for the Dems in 2004 comes to mind...the better and easier the name, the better.

To say that Harris beat Warshaw because of his name just shows how very little you know about campaigns. Harris did not win because of his name. Could it be that Warshaw never tried a felony in his life and was a lawyer for less than 5 years? The Guv sent out a mailer hugging Warshaw under a picture of Paul (Stalin is the most perfectly formed human of the 20th century or to you beloved comrade) Robeson.
Why is it Arron, that you believe the people are stupid? Could you be more elitist?

Aaron, wrong spelling same question.

Bob H - I'm not likely to vote for Duncan Hunter, but you can include him in your "tough on war on terror" caucus... He's got experience as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and he actually is very solid on that topic. Not that he's going to win or anything, but he's more solid than Romney, who tried to not take a position ("I don't have the information as Governor that the President does") until he couldn't avoid it any longer...

JC: You got the wrong guy -- I didn't question your comments.

Tim: Glad to hear about Duncan Hunter, but remember that I put up two qualifications -- the second is electability.

Bob H - Yeah, that could be a major problem for Hunter. Of course, we're still a year out, so I wouldn't want to write anyone off (except Sharpton and Kucinich!) because the "dark horse" factor often works in favor of candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire...

Don't think people are stupid, my point is that activists assume that because they are "in the know" that the average voter does too...that's simply not the case in many situations.

I'm not suggesting that Warshaw did not get primary help etc, I just doubt it did much to change the outcome of the election.

Not only did he get "primary help" the whole party endorsed him. How did he lose??
Could the party be that week?

Why did the Democratic Party then actively oppose him?

By the way, I don't think it is elitist to think most people don't know everything about the candidates farther down on the ballot...that's just reality. Anything we do to remove that ambiguity for voters is a good thing.

The endorsements did not matter that much---just like dedicating an entire page on the LD11 website won't prevent Arizonans from voting McCain...it's name ID...the activists don't alone determine election results in either party...I was not trying to demean the average voter..but they are not as in to this stuff as we are.

You must admit that when the entire Party apparatus gets behind a candidate and then the challenger wins it shows how weak the leadership is. As a leading Democratic activist you know what is going on in the Party with the Randy and David “ I am getting paid 110,000 a year and want to be a private consultant” stinks. I hope that the readers of this blog know that the Dems and the GOP are/and always have been locked in a struggle between those who rule and those who are tired of being ruled by the incompetent.

Certainly. But I think one problem is the "they" factor that goes around where everyone complains that "they" did not raise enough money or "they" were not inclusive enough and the failure of the whiners to acknowledge that "they" are part of the "they."

Since when did I become a leading activist? :)

McCain sold out the American public with his abbication to illegal aliens. I honestly believe, and his actions clearly show, that he admires illegal aliens and despises Americans. How else could one interepret his comments on picking lettuce as anything else?

I will never vote for McCain again. He has sold out the American people, and although his service in Viet Nam was honorable, his time as a Senator (Keating 5, wife stealing drugs, McCain-Feingold, Support of Illegal Aliens, bashing Bush when convenient) have shown him to be a politcal traitor to conservatives. Caveat Emptor if you vote for this two-faced disgrace of a politician.

I'm having a hard time blaming Cindy McCain's drug addiction on John McCain. Campaign finance, illegal immigration, Gang of 14, opposition to tax cuts, hostile to gun owners, pro-embryonic stem cell research, Keating 5 and all the rest, sure... That's our John McCain... But his wife's addiction to pain killers? That's just stupid...

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