Professor Pitney’s expertise was recently featured in a Christian Science Monitor article about how the recent Wall Street failures and the resulting damage might affect McCain’s election odds. Pitney says that McCain is not necessarily going to be punished in the polls, but if the housing market gets any worse he might:
Â The long-term impact of Wall Streetâ€™s crisis on the campaign has not yet played out.
â€œIf this turns out to be a phenomenon with no immediate and direct impact on millions of Americans, it wonâ€™t necessarily have a big impact on the election,â€ says John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. â€œIf all of a sudden everyone in the housing market suddenly finds out mortgages are unavailable, at that point it becomes a much bigger deal.â€
Mr. Pitney also does not see McCain as trapped in a no-win situation. In calling for tightened regulation of Wall Street â€“ a position that does not please free marketeers in the GOP â€“ â€œMcCain can say this is very much in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt,â€ says Pitney. â€œHe can say, just because heâ€™s a limited government conservative doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s an antigovernment conservative.â€