Here’s the analysis of our friendly political scientist Dr. Pitney, which seems to me to have a pronounced pro-McCain bias. It’s true that John offers singular strengths on national security (pro-surge but borderline anti-Bush) and neutralizes the corruption issue that’s always brought against the party in power. But having, in effect, no domestic agenda and being unable to excite or even gain the full trust of the socially conservative base are not small weaknesses.
I have to add that the comments about Huck are unreasonably negative. It’s true that his strength wouldn’t be national security, but it’s not that clear to me that the Republicans will enjoy a national security advantage with the November electorate. It’s also not clear how much the election will turn on national security. Huck can’t really be confused with Faubus, and any attempt to do would backfire. And he is certainly strong where McCain is weak--on economic anxiety, social conservatism etc. I still don’t think he could actually win, of course.
Romney has some advantages on the issues, but the character and lovability concerns are real.
I’m not at all sure we have a solution to the electability problem at this point.