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History repeating itself?


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Arizona Daily Wildcat


By John A. Ward
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 27, 1999
Talk about this story

"McCain upsets Bush!" This headline seems a little hard to believe, but if Bush doesn't watch his back, it just may turn out to be true.

Hey, in 1948, all the political pundits and pollsters were absolutely sure that Thomas Dewey would easily defeat Harry Truman. It was unfathomable to them that Truman would defeat Dewey, but as we know, we never had a President Dewey, but we did have a President Truman. The Truman victory was a huge upset that no one saw coming.

Perhaps, I am being a little na—ve and ideal, but I think McCain just may pull a "Truman" on the Republican party. If you pick up the paper or any of the "pop" news magazines, then you've probably noticed that the media is treating the campaign for the Republican nomination as over and in the bag for Texas Governor George W. Bush. The media is carrying on about the huge fund raising gap that exists between Bush and his competitors. Likewise, the huge gap in the poll numbers is being emphasized.

Well, all this may be true, but those same gaps existed during the election of 1948. Playing Truman's part (the underdog) in 2000 will be Arizona Senator John McCain. A few months ago, most political pundits did not foresee McCain's campaign being a strong force in the bid for the Republican nomination. It now seems that they may need to start reconsidering their previous notions of McCain's chances of winning the nomination.

This past week, the pundits finally began recognizing that McCain is going to be the most serious challenge to the GOP front runner. In fact, most are realizing that he is the only other serious GOP candidate left in the race. Some are starting to rethink whether the bid for the nomination is really over.

McCain is really starting to pick up the pace and put on the heat. As we get closer to the New Hampshire primary, we are going to see that McCain is a soft spoken but powerful force. A few months ago, McCain's poll numbers in New Hampshire were laying in the low teens while Bush's were riding gallantly in the high 40s. As of now, the poll numbers are narrowing, and have been since May. The current polls show Bush at 42 percent and McCain at 26 percent, and gaining steadily.

As the very important New Hampshire primary creeps closer and McCain continues to get his message of reform out, he will continue to win over more and more voters.

Voters are truly interested and inspired by a maverick who is willing to take unpopular stands against the power brokers of this country who are wrapping our elected officials around their little fingers with their deep pockets.

They see McCain as the incorruptible politician who is trying to return Washington back to the people.

McCain is putting all his chips on three states. McCain believes that if he can win over New Hampshire, South Carolina, and California with his message, then the nomination is his. As of right now, some are really starting to see a serious challenge to Bush's supposed preordained victory.

California has 3 million veterans who compose 12 percent of the population and will surely show up to the polls to cast a ballot for a fellow veteran and five-year POW. This is a huge block in McCain's corner. Even if he does not win New Hampshire, a victory in Arizona, South Carolina, and California, I believe, would give him the race. He has a comfortable margin in this state and victories in these other states are all too real for Bush, who will very soon start paying a lot of attention to the senator from Arizona.

As every week passes, more and more of our nation's politicos are throwing their support behind McCain, in fact many are shifting their support from Bush to McCain, which has to be scaring Bush just a little bit.

And now that Dole is out of the race, it seems that much of his support is finding refuge in the McCain camp.

This primary election cycle got off to an early start, and people made a hasty call on who had the GOP nomination locked up. Patience is a virtue and hasty conclusions unwise. The primary season has yet to truly heat up. When that time comes, we may just see that the underdog has shown himself to be the likely victor.


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