Friday, July 18, 2008

A McCain or Obama VP for the Base, or One for the Middle?

Interesting - Nate of Fivethirtyeight suggests that McCain, who is having trouble with his Evengelical base, might be wise to put Huckabee on the ticket.

Very interesting. So it seems that both McCain and Obama have "base-shoring" choices for their VP: for McCain, it's Huckabee; for Obama, it's Clinton.

But both these "base-shorers" will complicate the candidates appeal to moderates. For McCain, Huckabee will alienate rust-belt and western libertarians. For Obama, Clinton will muddy his unity message and while helping in the rust belt, might endanger the new south/west coalition.

Both candidates also have a good roster of VP selections for their mainstream, middle appeal: For McCain, Romney, Pawlenty, and Fiorino still look like the favorites - with Romney holding on to his favorite status. For Obama, Bayh, Nunn, and Biden seem to be the frontrunners - and no reason now to think that Bayh isn't holding on to the top slot. Interesting, because in this mix, is there really much ideological difference between people like Pawlenty and Bahy, Fiorino and Nunn? That's the middle for you: non-ideological, culturally bland pragmatists. It's the place where both candidates will most likely go.

Given their recent history, Obama seems more likely to go there than McCain. But we shall see, soon enough.

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