Some say it was because of the economy. Some, because he belonged to the same party as Bush. And some say it was because America has taken an abrupt left turn.
All of them are wrong.
Of course, the economy and the Bush legacy damaged McCain, and would have damaged any Republican to some degree. But McCain allowed those things to hurt him far more than was necessary. And America, by all polls, is still right of center. So, just why DID McCain lose so badly?
He lost because he betrayed the conservative base that is the strength of the GOP. He tried so hard to encompass moderates, and the so-called "Reagan Democrats" that he lost the support of many Republicans.
I have heard from thousands of Republicans who chose not to vote for McCain because they were still angry that he tried so hard - and sneakily - to betray conservative values concerning immigration. And throughout the campaign, they waited with baited breath to hear him say, "I was wrong - that was not the answer." But he never did recant his position.
And they waited, and hoped he would finally admit that his "McCain-Feingold" bill was a huge mistake. But in spite of being handicapped because of it, he stood by it.
And they waited for McCain to get angry about the debacle in the financial sector. They waited to hear him say he would find the responsible parties and hold them accountable - jail, not bail. But he remained silent, and even contributed to passing the hated bail-out bill.
Well, Senator McCain, if you kick your supporters often enough just to try and win a few "moderate" votes that there is little chance of winning, you will lose. And you did lose. You lost the country for the same reason you lost Pennsylvania - you invested too much into trying to win votes that you just could not win. By courting moderate Democrats, you lost Republicans - and still did not get the Democrats. You tried to win 50,000 Pennsylvania Democrats - and it cost you 50,000 Republicans, and you still did not get those Democrats. So, you lost.
And so did many other so-called Republicans who also lost their way. And the GOP will continue to lose until they wake up, and return to their roots, because that is where their stength is.
The GOP has to remember one simple tenet of business - you trade nickles for dimes, not vice versa. If you are going to dump 50,000 Republican votes, you had damned well better be certain you are getting more than that from the other side. And in politics, that simply is not possible.
As of now, there are precious few Republicans capable of rebuilding the party - Palin, Steele, Gingrich, Jundal, DeMint. That's about it.
And as of now, the "elitist" members of the GOP who have ruined the party these last 10 years are fighting hard to hold on, and working to destroy the very Republicans who can save the party.
Unless the PEOPLE of the GOP stand up and demand change, the liberal socialists will continue to rule.