Bill Hobbs doesn’t seem to think there’s much to worry about. He says

Calm down. We’ve been here before. This is what a Republican primary is all about – letting Republicans, including its big financial donors, its grassroots activists, its social conservatives, economic conservatives and security conservatives, sort through the field and pick a nominee. And often that nominee is someone who is not fully acceptable to one group or another.

The nominee may not fully agree with me – or with many Republicans – on immigration or taxes or social issues or foreign policy, but there are some things I can know with certainty about our eventual nominee: President McRomabee will make a better president than either Sen. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, will be better on the war and taxes and social issues than Clinton or Obama, and will nominate better judges for the federal courts than either Clinton or Obama would.

That’s why, no matter who is the nominee, on Nov. 4 I – and millions of Republicans nationwide whose preferred candidate did not get the nomination – will stand at the voting machine and push the button for the Republican nominee.

Bill isn’t alone, of course. Many in the GOP are repeating the same line and echoing the sentiment. As long as it’s based in reality, it’s all good and well.

I’m not sure that it will be that simple. The GOP’s steady drift to the Left is producing some interesting results. One need only look at the field of candidates the Party has put up for 2008. While it may be true that President McRomabee will govern better than either Mrs. Clinton or Obama, it will not matter if he doesn’t win. That scenario is not addessed by Mr. Hobbs. And it is by no means guaranteed. Stunned by the Democrat’s turnout yesterday, I ran a few numbers. These are the real numbers for yesterday’s contests in just 10 states plus Michigan. It isn’t boding well for the GOP.

To win the Presidency, a candidate must have 270 electoral votes. Here is a possible scenario, perhaps even a likely one, even if all of our Republicans turn out and push the button for the Republican nominee.

The figures in parentheses are the electoral votes for the state. GOP figures are the total for all votes cast for all GOP candidates.

CT – (7) HRC 164,831 BHO 179,349 GOP 140,159
SC – (8) HRC 141,128 BHO 295, 091 GOP 442,918
CO – (9) HRC 38,587 BHO 79,344 GOP 55,845
MN – (10) HRC 65,669 BHO 137,115 GOP 61,293
GA – (15) HRC 326,465, BHO 696, 808 GOP 952,651
NJ – (15) HRC 599,620 BHO 490,185 GOP 554,894
MI – (17) HRC 328,151 Other Dem 265,686 GOP 844,471
IL – (21) HRC 643,352 BHO 1,256,543 GOP 873,365
FL – (27) HRC 857,208 BHO 569,041 Other Dem 249,141 GOP 1,920,350
NY – (31) HRC 1,003,113 BHO 697,541 GOP 602,133
CA – (55) HRC 2,064,590 BHO 1,686,517 GOP 1,928,952

Add to this OH, PA, WA and OR who have a combined electoral vote total of 59 and these 15 states alone are enough to give the Democrats the White House.

I understand there are some weaknesses in the above scenario. Not many, however. I included MI and FL intentionally. I know the Democrats tossed their votes out to penalize the states for moving their primary. However, the number of Democrats that turned out to vote in those two meaningless elections ought to concern the GOP. One is forced to speculate on how many Democrats may turn out when their vote will actually count for something. In CT, MN and NY, both Mrs. Clinton and Obama would each have beat the entire GOP field by themselves. In CO, NJ, IL and almost in CA the two Democrats doubled the vote totals of the entire GOP field. Only in MI, FL and GA were the GOP numbers even close to competitive. The truly sobering realization is that if the Dems lose one or two of the above races in November, they have 35 other states in which to make up the loss. The GOP has no such cushion. The GOP numbers include Ron Paul’s supporters. If even a small group of GOP faithful stay home or refuse to back a candidate they see as less than acceptable, the GOP is in trouble.

Either way you want to cut this pie, a couple of observations seem inescapable. The GOP movement to the Left has not won them any friends willing to vote for them. Putting up one, or even three, GOP candidates that are arguably less than Conservative has not won the GOP any praise. If it turns out to cost them votes, it will cost them the election. I conclude this is what happens when you develop and promote candidates based on electability and not on ideology. It’s what happens when you fail to cultivate quality candidates with appeal to the Party in general while counting on the Party’s fear and opposition of the other guys to gain their votes. It’s the difference in having someone to vote for and relying on someone to vote against. It’s the difference in appealing to dreams and appealing to fears. And it just may be the difference in a GOP resurrection and a long stretch of Democratic Congressional majorities and a Democrat in the White House. If we’re going to get our butts kicked, perhaps we ought to do it while fielding the best candidates.

I remember 2006. We just looked at 2008. Bill Hobbs is right. We’ve been here before. The question is, are we planning a change in scenery anytime soon …

Blue Collar Muse