That is the provocative thesis of an article in AlterNet.org. The article is called "Looming Threat for Dems: People Against the War Prefer McCain as President" and was written by Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of Monsters To Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin.
Professor Chernus examines several public opinion polls and finds that McCain is doing relatively well even though most Americans don't believe that the war will be ultimately successful. He also argues that these polls show that McCain is seen as better prepared to protect the nation against terrorists, which is broader than the war in Iraq.
Professor Chernus points out that over the last year the percentage of people who believe that the war is "going well" has increased. This is from the article:
Over the last year, the number who say the war is going well jumped from 30% to 48% in the LAT/B poll. The NYT/CBS poll records a similar jump since last June, from 22% to 43%. In the WP/ABC poll, the number who see "significant progress" jumped from 31% to 43% in just the last three months. That increase tracks very closely with the growing political fortunes of McCain, who was all but counted out last summer.
He also points out the results of a Rasmussen Reports poll concerning the famous or infamous 3 a.m. call ad that the Clinton campaign ran against Obama in Ohio and Texas. This is from the article:
Remember the "crisis phone call, 3 AM" commercial that the Clinton campaign used so successfully? Rasmussen Reports was smart enough to ask voters whom they'd rather have answering that phone: Clinton, Obama, or . . . McCain. The two Democrats got only 25% each, while McCain was way ahead with 42%.
None of this is to suggest that McCain will beat either Obama or Clinton. It does mean, though, that this is going to be a very tough race for Democrats. If Obama is the nominee, Republicans will use race to divide Americans. If Clinton is the nominee, then the Republicans will use gender to divide Americans.
It is unfortunate that while our two main nominees are attacking each other as opposed to having a presumptive nominee going after McCain and defining him before he gets a chance to define himself.