Finally facing the political reality of John McCain’s presidential nomination, Republican Ron Paul has bowed out of the race. Paul tellingly didn’t back the presumptive GOP nominee.
Asked recently by Newsweek what his relationship was with Sen. McCain, Rep. Paul responded: “It pretty much doesn’t exist. He has his beliefs and I have mine, and they just don’t come together very well.”
That lack of a relationship – if it persists – could cost Sen. McCain dearly in the fall. In Iowa, Rep. Paul drew nearly 12,000 votes in this year’s Republican caucuses, almost 2,000 more than President Bush’s margin of victory in the state in 2004. In New Mexico, the roughly 15,500 Republican primary votes cast for Rep. Paul this month were more than double Mr. Bush’s margin of victory four years ago. Together, the two states have 12 electoral votes – Iowa seven; New Mexico five – that could be in jeopardy of deserting the GOP column.
Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, a former Republican, may also draw votes away from McCain. What a shame…