Can John McCain carry California? Consult a new poll later today
John McCain has been offering springtime promises that a Republican presidential ticket headed by him can make California -- and its huge cache of 55 electoral votes -- competitive in November.
Such pledges by previous GOP standard-bearers have proved patently false in recent elections. But might McCain -- with his maverick persona, Western roots and potential appeal to Latinos -- be the exception to the rule?
We aren't at liberty to reveal the exact results yet; for that, check out our homepage (latimes.com) about 5 p.m. EDT today (2 p.m. PDT).
The last Republican to win the state in a White House race was George H.W. Bush in 1988; he defeated Michael Dukakis, 51%-48%.
Bill Clinton won it in 1992 with 46%; Bush got 33% and Ross Perot 21%. Clinton triumphed handily again in 1996, with 51% of the vote to Bob Dole's 38%.
In 2000, Al Gore beat George W. Bush, 53%-42%. And four years ago, John Kerry kept the state securely in the Democratic column, getting 54% of the vote to Bush's 44%.
The odds, clearly, should be against McCain.
-- Don Frederick