The Economist responds to my post about how McCain's trouble with the base is showing up in a 20% protest vote in the primaries. They don't think it's a problem, but if you look at the late 2004 Democratic primaries the only candidate getting a substantial vote other than Sen. Kerry is Sen. Edwards. But unlike the Huckabee/Paul vote that vote was not a rejection of Kerry. I was one of those who voted for Edwards, not because I rejected Kerry as the nominee, but because I wanted him to pick Edwards as his running mate.
So when John Kerry was the nominee and a move on to have Edwards as his running mate, their combined votes were 81-87% of the vote - not the kind of number McCain is getting.