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I think you are confusing a number of things here, not least of which that the one most likely to win (in your opinion) is also the least polarising. I also think you both understate his ability to win in the GOP nomination race, and overstate his appeal to Democrats and so-called independants (this latter group probably more aptly refered to as the low-information voter) see as such.

I offer no commentary on the merits of the candidates - simply the likely outcome of the primaries and National election given what poll data we have.  (Some of the merits and demerits of (McCain?) which you mention may of course become a greater factor in voter perceptions as time goes on, but polling data is, by its nature, based on past and present perceptions, not on future ones.

I would have thought that Clinton and Huckabee, the most likely nominees (based on my analysis) are also the most polarising of the 7 major candidates.  It is difficult to see how McCain, alone of the GOP contenders, can beat Clinton and tie with Obama if he doesn't get more independent support than the other GOP contenders.

I don't dispute your larger point:
redstar:

The big polarisation is between the views of the ruling elites (mostly bi-partisan, neo-liberal on economic policy and hawkish on foreign policy) and the interests, realised or not, of real American workers.

But I suspect none of the 7 candidates featured as riding high in the polls would be seen by you as representing "the interests, realised or not, of real American workers" and so these polls do not measure that polarisation.  I have however argued elsewhere that the very low participation rates in US elections may be in part symptomatic of the fact that many potential voters do not see any of the candidates on offer as representing their interests.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 09:11:39 PM EST
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