A new poll from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain holds a lead over both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Virginia. The poll—which consists of phone calls to 1,003 people, so take what you will from that—gives McCain an 8-percent lead over Obama and a 9-percent lead over Clinton.
One can guess that right now Larry Sabato’s phone is ringing like a goddamn fire alarm.
McCain is strongest in the northwest and western areas of the state—the Appalachian area where Obama has had his presumptively nominated ass handed to him in recent weeks. But if fundraising events in Charlottesville for Obama and Clinton (the absence of any McCain events) are any indicators, local support is trending in the other direction. No surprise there.
Which leads us to this New Yorker piece by George Packer, who talks to previously prominent conservatives about the decline of the GOP. Even if McCain wins the general election (and most of the people Packer speaks with doubt he will), it will be nothing but the death rattle of a party moving toward irrelevance.
The money quote from New York Times columnist David Brooks: