McCain = Frontrunner
Despite the recent events at SRLC, Arizona Senator John McCain still has to be considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2008. The Baltimore Sun has a great article today about McCain's strategy and what has changed since 2000.
While I am a die-hard George Allen supporter, I think that McCain should be considered the strongest general election candidate for the GOP. Against a Democratic nominee that looks increasingly likely to be either Hillary Clinton or Al Gore, McCain would wipe the floor with either. In addition, McCain furthers the "Southwest Strategy" that will be necessary for GOP candidates to continue winning national elections. It is essential that the GOP keep the fast-growing states of Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada in the GOP column and remain competitive in New Mexico. McCain gives the GOP the best chance in those states and essentially reduces the "battleground" area to the Rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Again, I'll be casting my primary vote for George Allen, but Virginia is not likely to be a battleground state in '08 unless the remote possibility of Mark Warner grabbing the Democratic nomination comes to fruition. If McCain wins the nomination, Republicans should support him, particularly those who have been frustrated by the big-spending proclivities of the Bush administration.