One of the reason’s McCainiacs site for supporting him is electability. When discussing electability it is important to look at the background of the candidate, specifically whether they are a senator or governor.
Since 1900 there have been 8 open presidential elections (non-incumbent.) Senators have won twice and a governor once. Both victories by senators were pre-1964. The gubernatorial victory was post 1964.
Since 1900 five incumbent presidents have been turned out of office by a challenger (1912, 1932, 1976, 1980, and 1992.) All five challengers were governors.
Since Senator Kennedy’s win in 1960 there have been 11 presidential elections. Five of the losers in those races were senators (1964, 1968, 1972, 1996, and 2004.) Only one of those who lost was a governor (1988.) Two other losers were Vice Presidents and former senators (1984 and 2000.)
This is an overwhelming trend that governors have the advantage when the country is in the mood for change and that senators have an overwhelming record of losing elections since the beginning of the television era.
The Democrats are going to nominate a senator. The Republicans have a choice whether to nominate someone who has been in Washington since 1982 or someone who has served as an executive of a state. If the GOP goes with the senator then we surrender an advantage over the Democrats. If we go with a governor then we can credibly run a Washington outsider against the Democrat insider.