McCain still facing party opposition

March 1, 2008 at 2:54 PM

WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- The presidential bid of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., still faces a mountain of opposition within the Republican Party, experts say.

Officials such as American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene say that while conservatives may have supported McCain during recent unconfirmed intimations of marital infidelity, that support may not be there in the future, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

''This assumption that people who defended him are now on board is naive,'' Keene said. "If he really wants an enthusiastic base in the fall, he is going to have to do more than sit there and hope that it comes to him.''

Republican Party consultant Greg Mueller told the Post that while conservatives would likely still vote for McCain, the clear party front-runner, they would not help him fight his political battles.

''It is so important in the presidential campaigns of our time, which are so close,'' Mueller said. "I have never heard of an independent activist, have you? I have heard of a conservative activist. We need them, because we need to get the vote out. That's Politics 101.''

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