This is from the lead paragraph of an article appearing on the News section of the Yahoo website:
Republican John McCain plans to run a general election campaign as steadfast protector of the United States in the face of terrorism as well as a crusader against big government. The Democrats, he says, offer neither.
The Republicans have run three straight national elections using terrorism as the main issue. They won two of them, 2002 and 2004, but lost the third, 2006. If McCain is the nominee, however, they will have no choice but to use it in 2008. That's because given McCain's steadfast support of the war and comments like he doesn't care if the United States is in Iraq for the next 100 years, they can't run as the party that will end the war. Therefore, they have to run a campaign that casts Democrats opposed to the war as being dangerous for Americans. Since one of the main responsibilities of a government is to provide for the security of the people it governs, this argument will find supporters.
Democrats, though, have to realize that this won't be like 2006. The media is owned by people who make a lot of money and really like Bush's tax cuts. They want to see those tax cuts continue beyond their 2010 expiration date. Their best shot is if McCain is president.
This means that we will keep hearing about how the "surge" is working and we will hear less and less about the political benchmarks that the Iraqis are supposed to be reaching. All this will help McCain.
This is not to say that McCain's victory is a foregone conclusion. He has a lot of problems. It is is say, however, that 2008 will be a very bitter and dirty race. McCain will demonize whoever runs against him as being weak on terrorism and will claim that Americans will be in danger if either Democrat is elected.