Actually the danger is that the Republicans will go the other way. The only thing McCain has for the social conservatives is that he is pro-life. His campaign didn’t catch fire until he picked a social conservative as his running mate.
If and when he loses, as seems likely, it is possible that GOP will decide that it is social conservatives from now on.
That having been said, I think the influence of the social conservatives on the GOP is rather over-stated. They get a lot of shit on the SDMB and in the MSM, simply because the left particularly despises them and looks down on them. Therefore it is rather natural for folks like Dopers and the like to assume that Republicans lose for the same reasons that they wouldn’t vote for them.
The sole and only reason McCain is losing is the economy. If we were humming along as we were during the majority of Bush’s terms, Cindy McCain would be looking at furniture. But, we’re not, and for some reason the American populace seems to think Obama’s brand of economic populism is going to do more than McCain’s. I doubt it will. Obama’s best chance is that he can’t achieve much, and the economy recovers on its own, and then he can take credit for it. If it does, he is an early favorite for re-election. If not, maybe he can write another book.
I would like a return to limited government - commitment to a balanced budget, extensive spending cuts, and handle issues like gay marriage and abortion by pushing it back to the states where it belongs. Pack the Court with textualists, and the problem pretty much takes care of itself. Liberals are going to still try to push these things thru the courts. The GOP can appeal to the social conservatives in its base by fighting back against that. Thus the SCs get politicians who can fight against having the government impose gay marriage or abortion or whatever on them by fiat, and the GOP can still include pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage types under its big tent.
Will it happen? Don’t know. We need a leader - a Reagan or a Gingrich. McCain is too much like Dole - too used to being in the minority to push back. So he is losing like Dole did too.
You know, I appreciate this - thank you very much.