In 2000 and 2004, success in the general election was about energizing the base, and getting them to turn out in high numbers on election day.
For years, I’ve spoken to many conservatives who have told me they wouldn’t cast a vote for John McCain under any circumstances. I’ve also spoken to Democrats and independents who have told me that if the match up were between McCain and Hillary Clinton, they’d vote for McCain. Barack Obama, meanwhile, has made the idea of appealing to independents and Republicans a major part of his platform.
What this all adds up to in November, I believe, is a return to the days when the president was determined by a block of moderate swing voters rather than the bases of each party.