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On the November 13 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, senior political analyst Bill Schneider, while discussing how the 2006 congressional elections could affect possible 2008 presidential candidates, asserted that Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) "strong national security credentials are no small thing after a midterm where Iraq was a big issue." But Schneider overlooked the fact that McCain's position on the war appears to be at odds with that of the majority of the American people. McCain is a strong supporter of the Iraq war, and as recently as the November 12 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, restated his position that the United States should send more troops to Iraq: "I believe that there are a lot of things that we can do to salvage this, but they all require the presence of additional troops. [...] I have said from the beginning, my first trip over there, that we needed more troops." However, as Media Matters for America noted, according to CNN's nationwide exit poll for the House races, only 17 percent of voters supported sending more troops to Iraq. By contrast, 55 percent favored withdrawing all or some of U.S. troops in Iraq, and those voters broke for Democrats by lopsided margins.
As Media Matters has documented, Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan, Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, and the Los Angeles Times editorial board have all baselessly claimed that the 2006 congressional elections benefited McCain.
From the November 13 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
SCHNEIDER: This year, we saw a big market for outsiders who can promise change. That's good news for [former New York City Mayor] Rudy Giuliani [R] and for any Republican who can speak the language of bipartisanship. Here's one.
McCAIN [video clip]: Are we doing the things organizationally and legally that need to be done to prepare for it? Yes.
SCHNEIDER: His strong national security credentials are no small thing after a midterm where Iraq was a big issue.