Whether he runs against the Lizard Queen or the Magic Negro, McCain is a probable loser because his nominal supporters don’t support his policies:
A new survey I commissioned demonstrates how McCain’s malarkey about supporting enforcement has succeeded in duping a significant number of voters. The poll (complete results are here) found that only 34 percent of people who voted for McCain in the primaries and caucuses knew that he favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (the word “amnesty” never appeared in the survey questions). Meanwhile, 35 percent of his voters thought he favored attrition of the illegal population through enforcement, 21 percent didn’t know his position, and (this is my favorite) 10 percent thought McCain’s position on illegal immigration was “a program of mass roundups and deportations.”
Most Republicans don’t know how bad McCain is, and they were voting for him in the primaries because they had come to understand how bad Giuliani and Romney were. Once his positions on free speech, guns and open borders become clear in the Republican vs Democrat part of the campaign, his support will quickly dissipate in favor of better third-party candidates and simply staying home. More than a few Republicans have learned their lesson from the Bush years; if you’re going to get Democratic governance anyhow, it’s much better to have its inevitable failures actually blamed on Democrats.
The usual arguments in support of the lesser evil will be made, of course, but there are fewer voters willing to accept that argument for the fifth straight election. At some point, consistently supporting the lesser evil will force one to confront the reality that one has been reduced to a servant of evil.