Weigel theorizes why Barr and Nader seem to be hurting McCain:

The country desperately wants a Democratic president at the moment. Republicans acknowledge this. The honest ones argue that their best chance at winning is making Obama so weird and treasonous-seeming that swing voters can't pull the lever for him. That strategy, of course, fails to assuage doubts about McCain. As he fails to differentiate himself from the GOP brand, those alienated voters look elsewhere on the ballot.

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