Originally Posted by ponycar17
On McCain's first run I might agree with you had he won the nomination... This time he was the candidate by default. My (possibly wrong) opinion is that McCain was the only Republican in the crowd that stuck out as being different. Because of this, the very right-leaning conservative crowd (the largest portion of the Republican party) was split among 3-4 other candidates because every other candidate was so similar. McCain didn't have to score big numbers to get the nomination. He won by default... Or, that's my opinion, and we know how those go...
But you are forgetting Rudy, who supposedly was going to end up as the nominee for sure (just like Clinton was). I think it is more complicated, and comes out somewhere even. You probably have something like this... McCain and Rudy on the left. Romney and Paul in the middle. Brownback, Huckabee, Thompson and Tancredo. Now Brownback, Thompson and Tancredo weren't huge draws. Romney and Paul go in the middle because they probably took votes from BOTH left and right, as Romney had some liberal gaffes and Paul was either liked for being anti-Iraq or because of his views that were conservative.
But even then your idea doesn't really effect what I am saying. I am saying the fact that he is running a realistic campaign, not one of just promising "good things," and still getting all this support- I think that is significant. If you look into Obama's campaign, it is built on "happy promises," not the truth. That is typical of campaigns, because generally campaigns that are built on truth do not do well.
In fact if your theory is correct, it just makes McCain all the better, because if your theory is correct (which it may very well be) you have to throw a bunch of embittered conservatives into the mix.