Looks Over, but Don't Count Out Conservatives: Noonan
McCain's 43% or more of the vote isn't nothing
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Oct 24, 2008 9:26 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., steps off the plane to visit his ailing grandmother, in Honolulu Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – For all of Barack Obama’s skill and John McCain’s clumsiness, the Republican can still count on at least 43% of the vote, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. McCain might come back (there's still an awful lot of undecideds), but even if he doesn’t, more than 50 million people—the “beating heart of conservatism”—will have supported him. “And they will be a rock-hard challenge to Mr. Obama if he wins.”

Obama may get into office and find popularity the way Bill Clinton did, by governing from the center on domestic issues. Otherwise, the 43% will block him. Noonan sees trouble “if he goes left—if it comes to seem as if the attractive, dark-haired man has torn open his shirt to reveal a huge S, not for Superman but for Socialist.”