I am a registered Republican. However, in recent years, I've started to lean a bit differently although I don't have a huge problem with my affiliation. Let me run down a few major issues and my stance on them to expound on this:
1. Taxation - I would rather have lower taxes than a balanced budget. Yes, a balanced budget would be great, but there's nothing there that means anything to me. Granted, we shouldn't be in the hole like we are now but I don't really trust the government with my money per se.
2. Gun Control - Although at it's base I think outlawing guns would be great, the country is far too gone now to abolish them. It would never work.
3. Capital Punishment - I do not believe in the death penalty. Regardless of crime, it is not man's duty to make that decision.
4. Conservatism - As a Christian, many of the Republican viewpoints on life and moral codes match. Not all, but most. For example, although I personally do not agree with abortion, I do not think it is the government's right to take that choice away.
5. Social Medicine - Capitalism is great but once it gets too big it's much more damning than a social system for certain things like health care.
I grew up in a Republican household, but not a very politically active one. I remember Reagan fondly (he reminded me of my grandfather, and as a child I could understand him.) and thought ambivalently about George H.W. Bush. I remember the first Gulf War vaguely and my Uncle Keith (not really an uncle, but a good friend of Dad's...you know how it goes) served. However, the Clinton Years were when I really started to come into my own as a person.
My folks were fairly anti-Clinton the whole way. All I remember is Whitewater, Lewinsky, Yugoslovia, Impeachement, Marc Rich, et al. My first Presidential election to vote was in 2000 and I was pretty heatedly against Gore, as I felt he was boring and did not fit my profile of a 'leader'. Which is ironic, in hindsight, isn't it? I felt that Bush was more of a 'Man of the People' and I enjoyed his debate style more. Plus, I disliked Clinton/Gore so much, why not? I was so relieved when Gore relinquished Florida and Bush started his term.
Then the next eight years happened.
I voted for Kerry because he wasn't Bush. Not because I really believed in him, but because I felt anything could be better.
Now I'm a fervent Obama supporter. He represents a real change from the status quo. I respected Hillary in the beginning for her historic value, but have still not gotten over her term as First Lady. As time goes on, I watch her speeches and her oddly familiar rhetoric as she digs herself deeper and deeper into this grave that I placed her in over a decade ago. She consistently refuses to give up and is driving the Democratic wedge farther into the voting block. Every day I see her on TV damaging the Obama campaign in some futile attempt to win when that is no longer an option. She is a cut-throat politician and an example of why I have never aligned myself with the Democratic side of the aisle.
If Obama loses the general election, it is going to be all her fault.
John McCain is not a President. He's an anti-Clinton.
Indi made an interesting analogy. Ted Kennedy having a stroke, now being diagnosed with a brain tumor, is the last member of Camelot. Sure, he is the Black Sheep of the clan but he represents the last of the true Old Guard. Something like Obi-Wan must pass beyond the veil so that Luke can realize his destiny. I was never too fond of ol' Kennedy but geez, a brain tumor is not something I'd wish on anyone.