A new Marist poll has McCain/Rice beating any combination of Clinton/Obama. In New York. I don’t trust the results of this holding up in November, nor do I think there is the slightest chance the GOP will put Rice on the ticket. I think Rice is far too close to Bush, and the Republicans will want to make a clean break with the Bush administration, especially her signature failure of managing Iraq prior to McCain’s surge strategy. He will do all he can to paint Iraq as a strategic failure led by Republicans that ignored his advice early on. That narrative disappears if Rice is by his side while he makes it.
On top of that, putting Rice on the GOP ticket might actually cause the Solid South vote to waver. Condi and McCain do nothing to reassure the arch conservatives who want to shut down the border and remove affirmative action. I also think putting a single black female on the ticket will push a few voters who can’t stand at least one of those categories away from the ticket.