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John McCain is planning to run as a different kind of Republican. But being any kind of Republican seems like some sort of death sentence these days.
In case you’ve been too consumed by the Democratic race to notice, Republicans are getting crushed in historic ways both at the polls and in the polls.
At the polls, it has been a massacre. In recent weeks, Republicans have lost a Louisiana House seat they had held for more than two decades and an Illinois House seat they had held for more than three. Internal polls show that next week they could lose a Mississippi House seat that they have held for 13 years.
In the polls, they are setting records (and not the good kind). The most recent Gallup Poll has 67 percent of voters disapproving of President Bush; those numbers are worse than Richard Nixon’s on the eve of his resignation. A CBS News poll taken at the end of April found only 33 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the GOP — the lowest since CBS started asking the question more than two decades ago. By comparison, 52 percent of the public has a favorable view of the Democratic Party.
Things are so bad that many people don’t even want to call themselves Republicans. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found the lowest percentage of self-described Republicans in 16 years of polling.
“The anti-Republican mood is fairly big, and it has been overwhelming,” said Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis.
With an environment so toxic, does McCain have even a chance of winning in November?