This is the first Presidential election with no incumbent President or Vice President since 1952. That is only the beginning of the dynamic that makes this election unusual and totally unpredictable.
Everything it seems is going against the Republicans this season. The right track/ wrong track numbers are somewhere in the neighborhood of 20/80%. They've lost three special Congressional elections in districts that they never thought they would have trouble in. Party identification is down, and their are being outspent and outraised by their counterparts exponentially.
The Republicans have taken the hit for the poor economy, high gas prices, the mortgage crisis, and an unpopular war. The Democrats are licking their chops for unprecedented gains.
On the other hand, the Republicans have nominated the one candidate that might even win this year. John McCain is a war hero with a long history of being a moderate. Furthermore, the Democrats have nominated (nearly) the one candidate that could lose this year. Up until the Wright controversy broke, the charismatic Barack Obama seemed unbeatable himself. Since then it has been one gaffe after another followed by several scandals. Now, he limps into the general primary season weak and flawed.
Of course, Barack Obama has a very solid card in his back pocket, George Bush. It may not matter how flawed he is because the party of George Bush may just simply have no chance to win in November.
This is the set up for a totally unpredictable and unusual election 2008. We have a hopeless party picking the perfect nominee, while the party sitting pretty is picking the worst nominee it could. What will happen is anyone's guess.
Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"