PHOENIX (Reuters) – Republican John McCain lost Tuesday’s presidential election because he could not overcome a hostile economic environment, distance himself from an unpopular president or convince voters he could lead them out of the crisis.
As the blame game began, analysts also said McCain’s choice of inexperienced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate raised doubts about his judgment. It ultimately may have alienated more voters than it attracted.
McCain’s attempts to portray Barack Obama as a tax-raising socialist with friends who were terrorists drove away moderate voters, who handed the Democrat a decisive victory on Tuesday.
An extremely unpopular Republican president coupled with a sputtering economy made for a tough political climate for McCain. Even if he had run a perfect campaign, it may not have been enough this year.
After eight years of Republican White House rule, the party had turned off racial minorities, young voters and more educated voters. The final blow was the large-scale defection of working class whites devastated by the economic crisis.