I saw the footage of McCain correcting an audience member regarding Obama being an Arab. His response was to correct the error but not to address the issue. Being an Arab means being a terrorist to a portion of the GOP. Granted it's hopefully still a mere fraction but never-the-less isn't it important for the party to distance itself from xenophobia and racism? When you stop to consider the GOP-created wedge issues, their problems in electorate become pretty obvious.
GOP politics has identified and delineated the following groups: Hispanics with border policy; Blacks with its handling of not only Katrina but Rev. Wright; Gays with marriage/rights issues; Women with abortion rights and equal pay policy; Workers with union busting; Arabs, Muslims and immigrants with terror-mongering; Christians on the opposite side of the abortion issue and with evangelical overtones as basic as the "war on Xmas" or referencing the "end of days;" and Nationalists with flag-burning, pledge of allegiance minutiae.
The opportunity is that these are all (mostly) strategies to attract single-issue voters. Why the Democrats haven't figured out the Venn diagram to negate this tactic is beyond me. These issues overlap. Within the realm of importance most of them are trumped by the economy as evidenced in the past few weeks of polling. While Democrats have ridden that angle they seem to have their work cut out for them. They need to take a big tent approach to the wedge issues. Divide and conquer only works when you have enough wherewithal to fight every divided battle. In this election the chinks in the GOP armor are apparent. They cannot fight all these issues. Their wedges are not aligned properly which may be a reason why you see McCain's damage control apology-on-Friday is not even beginning to address the larger issues. There is no attempt to attract any new voters -- only to retain/appease the base.
The GOP is fractured. The likelihood of their winning this election is near-nil but the new problem on the forefront is what to do with Sarah Palin. She's unimpressive to the mainstream for all the things that endear her to the isolated and myopic GOP base. This pitbull is far more likely to do damage to the owner. The question is whether the GOP base will allow the party to give up the new pet.