When it comes time to pull that lever or mark a box with an X in the General Election, more voters will choose McCain than will choose Obama.
This isn't because they will agree with McCain's stand on Iraq. They won't. Or because he is an inspirational speaker. He isn't.
No, I think when push come to shove, voters will see a very ambitious young man on the move who has not yet paid his dues vs. a man who has served his country above and beyond the call of duty, a man who has earned the right to be President.
Hillary, too, would have to overcome this fundamental respect for McCain the soldier. But they are closer in age. And she, too, has paid her dues and then some. No, she wasn't a prisoner of war. No she hasn't suffered physical torture for her country. But she has been tested, and she has proven her mettle. And that vote on Iraq that hurts her so much with liberal Democrats will be a plus in the general election because it will demonstrate that she is willing to support force if force is needed.