McCAIN: WE'RE THE MEDIA! WE WANT TO BELIEVE!
ABC News story (video link):
One of the most outspoken supporters of the surge, presidential candidate John McCain, the senator from Arizona, seems to have benefited. A new ABC News-Washington Post poll out today shows that McCain has now pulled within ten points nationally of the Republican front-runner, Rudy Giuliani.
Er, he's pulled within ten points because Giuliani is sinking, not because he's doing any better. Right now he's at 18% in the poll; in mid-July he was at 16%, and in June he was at 20%. Some comeback. (Rudy's down from 37% to 28% since mid-July.) But Beltway journalists knew McCain would be the front-runner and are waiting for reality to conform to their thesis.
The other subtext, of course, is that we were told that the war was hurting McCain, and now we're being told it's helping him. Hunh? Why would it cause any change in his appeal at all? Republicans loved the war two years ago and they loved it two months ago and they love it now. (McCain's numbers really began to plummet around the time of the immigration battle; it's no surprise they're marginally higher now.)