Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Re: Is Iraq the Issue? Yes.

Yuval Levin questions Dan Casse’s contention that John McCain’s victory in New Hampshire demonstrates the centrality of Iraq in the election. He uses data from the exit poll last night indicating that McCain won with anti-war voters and Mitt Romney won with pro-war voters. It is true that the data, as reported, say this. But this is the problem with exit-poll data, which are often confused when it comes to detailing matters of policy. Remember the 2004 exit polls demonstrating that “moral values” were the key issue for voters in an election that was explicitly run as a referendum on matters of war policy? Yes, the exit polls said what they said, and presumably the voters queried said what the exit pollsters reported, but the reported result did not comport with reality. Democrats discovered this to their sorrow as late as 2007, when their own promises to end the war in Iraq proved impossible to enshrine in legislation because the central reality of the 2004 election still stood.

McCain ran, effectively, as a single-issue candidate. His issue was the war in Iraq. Mitt Romney did not run on the war in Iraq. By the end of the five-day election cycle after Iowa he was running as a reformist candidate pledging to fix a broken Washington. McCain won in New Hampshire. Romney didn’t. The election itself tells the story here, not the exit poll.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.