Wrong from the get go Mike-the reason McCain didn't do much worse than he did can be summed up in 2 words-Sarah Palin. She and her SOLID CONSERVATIVE cred dragged McCain's sorry RINO butt as close as it was possible given your quite correct back story.
If we have any hope of ever turning this country around-and it's probably too late-Republican need to run a SOLID CONSERVATIVE. And looking at the hem hawing coming from Rubio lately, he's obviously been co-opted. Another RINO ala Jeb or Daniels and I'm outta here.
You want to see REgressives lose the presidency? Run Allen West.