So the magic of the Michigan results is not so much that Romney won — certainly this is important to those of us who support him — but the fact that McCain tanked among rank and file Republicans.
This is exactly what Hugh Hewitt and other conservative analysts have been saying for months now. McCain simply cannot count on any amount of support from the conservative base of the GOP. Try as he might, he cannot shake the fact that he has thrown in far too many times with the liberal factions of the Senate. He has joined with Ted Kennedy so many times, the two should just move in together. His Gang of 14 kept judicial appointments emptier than Kos's political threats. McCain-Feingold is seriously bad legislation that makes a mockery of the First Amendment. His nearly Gore-like fanaticism with global warming means that this theme will be harped upon in stump after stump, and his track record on the economy sounds more like progressive defeatism than capitalistic optimism. If we refuse to find ways to stimulate the economy in this country, we may as well go socialist. This would be McCain's Nirvana.
It then boils down to this: unless McCain can galvanize the moderate and independent votes in the next few states, his race is over. Ditto his future as a persuasive voice in American politics. He will always appeal to the moderate Republicans, and especially the RINOs, whose king he has become. But the right-leaning conservative base that has always been the dominant voice of the Republican party is beginning to show its impatience with this candidate.
Time to concentrate on Rudy.
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