That McCain got more GOP votes than Romney was shocking to me. Then it hit me, GOP turned out in 2008 because of Sarah Palin, not John McCain. I think Newt or Bachmann would have brought more turn out as the front runner. I think the Ryan pick was good, but they didn't use him enough. Republicans will take the wrong message from this, and again go more moderate. But that will only guarantee less conservative turnout and they'll never compete with the Dems on the redistribution game. I don't think the GOP will recover from their disaster when Bush and GOP controlled everything and did not scrap the tax code and IRS, kill the Departments of Education, Agriculture, EPA, and privatize SS like they were put there to do. Republicans don't trust their candidates anymore and won't support marginally conservative candidates.
In some respects, the whole political landscape has turned upside down. We're talking a lot on FR about how Romney didn't get a lot of support compared to 2008, but the truth is Obama's support has tailed off even more dramatically. And I suspect a lot of that is because Democrats are scratching their heads and wondering who this flaky whack-job is in the White House.