John McCain survived the New Hampshire primary thanks to receiving the support of the bulk of Republicans opposed to the Iraq war</a>. McCain also did much better with the antiwar voters than other GOP candidates in the crucial Florida primary.
Ron Paul, who announced he was dropping out of the race last night, never made his opposition to the Iraq War the key theme of his own campaign. (He did superbly when asked about this issue in debates or interviews, but most voters never saw the debates or interviews).
After McCain had emerged as a near-frontrunner before the Florida primary, a single 30-second ad highlighting his warmongering could have had a huge impact. Even if the Paul campaign only paid to have it broadcst a single time, it would likely have gotten picked up and frequently rebroadcast as a new story (the same tactic other candidates used).
Stressing an antiwar message probably would not have allowed Ron Paul to capture the GOP presidential nomination. But educating voters about McCain’s record could have made all the difference.
Losing the antiwar vote to John McCain is like losing the chastity vote to Bill Clinton.
It is perplexing that a candidate who voted so courageously against the war in Congress would siderail this issue in his presidential campaign – and thereby possibly miss a chance to block the biggest GOP Senate warmonger from the nomination.