Mickey Kaus points out that conservatives are purportedly warming to John McCain, and suggests that, in a general election, McCain "would come close to being elected by acclamation":
On NBC's Chris Matthews Show yesterday, David Brooks said conservatives had warmed to John McCain, and Matthews said he'd heard the same thing. ... Let's see. Conservatives are for McCain. Liberals like McCain. Centrists love McCain. Doesn't that mean McCain might, er, win? Who's going to vote against him? In a general election, it seems like McCain would come close to being elected by acclamation! It will take all the genius of the American political system to make sure he isn't on the ballot.
But prominent conservatives like David Keene and Grover Norquist still loathe McCain, and they are major players in the GOP nomination process. Plus a substantial portion of the base doesn't like McCain -- 19% of GOP primary voters already say they would definitely not vote for him.
In addition, as I've shown, most Democrats would already vote against McCain in a hypothetical race against Hillary Clinton -- and this is before he spends two years attacking Democrats to establish his GOP bona fides.
As soon as McCain has to run for president, his poll numbers will look like everyone else. The reason McCain looks so appealing now is that he's never faced significant Democratic criticism. But he will soon.
Update 11/21: Atrios notes that McCain traveled to Alabama today to endorse George Wallace Jr., who has spoken four times to a racist hate group. As I wrote, his poll ratings are going to go way, way down with non-Republicans.