The (flawed) basis of the McCain campaign was that he had a strong appeal to a lot of Democrats. Add this to the total support of registered Republicans and you had a guaranteed majority.
This was based on the seemingly strong showing in the 2000 primary in states that had open primaries. Such races seemed to show a broad base of support for McCain. But what motivated the Dems who crossed the line? Were they muddying the water for the GOP or were they supporting the Republican candidate who was most like a Democrat? In a real contest, most Democrats would prefer the real thing to a RINO.
McCain alienated a lot of Republicans with his support for amnesty and his concept of ‘campaign finance reform’. He brought a lot back on the reservation with the selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate. Had he gone with a mushy moderate (such a the oafish Tom Ridge) he would have done far worse in the electoral vote count.
McCain was not the anchor man (or close to it) at the USNA simply because he was a party animal (his first wife was an ‘entertainer’) and he may thank his legacy status for his graduation.
He appears to be a nice guy and his urge to maintain this image kept him from playing hardball.
His handlers ran a lousy campaign and will do anything to preserve their undeserved reputations as winners. They can throw Sarah under the bus with as little reluctance as they ‘dissed’ George W. Bush.
The McCain eagerness to get in on the Bailout turned off a lot of populists. What was needed was a fast track investigations of executives at Fanne Mae, Freddie Mac, and certain investment banks. Take back the platinum parachutes and send some hustlers to prison.
McCain seemed as enthusiastic for ‘cap and trade’ idiocy as Obama and this further dampened enthusiasm for him.
How many votes for McCain were actually votes against Obama?