McCain Survival Watch

As I wrote yesterday, I think that the defeat of the Senate immigration bill will buy McCain some more time in the presidential race. But clearly, it isn’t good news for him that he has to answer questions about whether he intends to drop out. A good indicator of whether those questions will persist is what his second quarter fundraising numbers look like (Q2 ends tomorrow). If his numbers are in the single digits, as some reports have suggested, the “McCain Death Watch” talk will gain steam. However, if in spite of the immigration fiasco, he exceeds the $12.5 million raised last quarter as his chief strategist John Weaver has vowed, I think the narrative will become, despite a horrendous news cycle, McCain remains in the mix. Again, this doesn’t change the fact that in the long run, he’s almost certainly doomed. Or, to put it another way, as a political writer I should say “never” because a lot of crazy things can happen in politics, but at this point I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances under which he gets the nomination.