As I’m always saying, in the editorial biz, we’re about who should win elections, not who will win. Endorsements aren’t predictions, yadda-yadda.
Well, we did our endorsement. It’s done, and I’m quite satisfied with it.
Who’s going to win is a separate question, and I’ve been known to indulge in the most indiscreet indulgence of making predictions since I took up the unwholesome habit of blogging.
But I just don’t know what to tell you. You know and I know who I hope will win, because I’ve been very clear about it. And there’s reason to be hopeful. Zogby shows McCain with a decent lead:
Arizona Sen. John McCain is holding on to his lead in South Carolina as the Republican primary election there approaches, a new Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby three-day telephone tracking poll shows. But the survey also shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are closing in on him ahead of Saturday’s vote.
In the latest telephone tracking survey, McCain is holding steady at 29%, while Huckabee wins 22% support for the second day in a row.
Then there’s this, but it’s two days old, and I don’t know anything about that outfit’s record for accuracy.
And remember, "accuracy" is a relative thing. The best poll in the world captures a moment in time, and that moment often doesn’t match the one in which people vote. Campaigns move in four dimensions.
Also, Zogby has been known to be very wrong, very recently. And then there’s the poll that we published in this newspaper this very day, showing a McCain-Huckabee statistical dead heat.
Even with John Zogby, there’s reason for a McCainiac to be concerned. To subscribers to his service (one of whom shared this with me), he says:
There is movement afoot in the Palmetto State. The precise three-day rolling average is McCain 28.6%, Huckabee 22.3%, Romney 15.4%, and Thompson 13.2%. The very first day of polling McCain led by double digits. In the single day of polling on Thursday alone, Romney hit 19%, while McCains lead over Huckabee stood at only 3.2%. If Romney continues to gain after Michigan it will hurt McCain.
And then consider the bad weather forecast, and consider:
Likely voters of different ages had different tastes, the survey shows. Romney led among voters aged 18-29, with 33%. Huckabee was favored by those aged 30 to 49, with 30% of their support. Voters aged 50 to 64 liked McCain best, giving him 33% of their support. McCain also dominated among those over 65, with 42% support. Romney was a distant second among seniors, with 19% support.
So it can go either way. We wait to see which face emerges from the crowd.