Sunday, December 02, 2007

McCain Gets Key Endorsement

The Republican race for the party's nominee is an increasingly volatile affair. The rise of Huckabee, who now has a very credible chance of winning Iowa, has changed the landscape, so much so that a muddled field is even more unpredictable. No question, a Huckabee victory in Iowa will be a major set back for Romney, making him quite vulnerable in New Hampshire. The potential Iowa upset could benefit Huckabee in New Hampshire, who also runs strong in South Carolina. How a Romney defeat works for Guiliani is harder to define, he could easily lose the spotlight heading out of Iowa with a third or fourth place finish.

Lying in the weeds, John McCain, who has basically dropped out in Iowa, putting all his focus on New Hampshire, where his numbers are showing a slight uptick, second or third, depending on the poll. Today, McCain received a crucial endorsement in New Hampshire, coming from the Manchester Union Leader:
John McCain picked up what may be the most important endorsement of his presidential bid today: a front-page shout-out from the Manchester Union Leader, the state's biggest daily newspaper and an influential voice in the state's politics. The paper's publisher said Sunday that "John McCain is the man to lead America" and urged New Hampshire voters to cast a ballot for him in the state's Jan. 8 primary. In backing McCain, Joseph W. McQuaid wrote that "his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination."

For McCain, the endorsement is critical.

What could be more critical for McCain, the paper will not stop with the endorsement, ensuring this is not a one day story:
We will write more about him in the days ahead.

McCain is now guaranteed a steady stream of positive coverage, from a very influential publication, that has shown the power to sway in the past. In addition, McCain now projects a sense of momentum in New Hampshire, which is critical, with so many voices vying for the nomination. McCain must win New Hampshire, if his long shot campaign has a chance. I would argue that reality gains credibility today with this endorsement.

5 comments:

Mushroom said...

Romney is running with a double digit lead one month before the NH Primary. He has the southern part of the state all wrapped up (Boston commuter belt).

The concern now is that Huckabee is leading Iowa according to Rasmussen and the Des Moines Register. He could even be running second in South Carolina and Florida. All while having very little money. He only raised $1 million in the third quarter alone compared to Romney's $7 million!!!

If Huck pulls off Iowa and wins South Carolina and Florida, it will send a message in how primaries can be won. This is even a major phenomenon than Howard Dean using netroots. In the end, netroots didn't pull enough votes for Dean in the early praimaries.

Steve V said...

"Romney is running with a double digit lead one month before the NH Primary. He has the southern part of the state all wrapped up (Boston commuter belt)."

Mushroom, how many double digit leads have evaporated in New Hampshire before, just weeks before the primary? If Huckabee pulls off Iowa, then Romney limps into NH. From all the polls I've seen, preference is quite soft and very fluid.

Mushroom said...

Steve,

Romney limps into NH but will the rest of the Republican field be crippled? This year will be different. The primaries are one after the other. Florida will be decided by the end of January and the candidate will be determined by then.

Therefore, McCain could find himself swamped in New Hampshire with no time to build momentum for the Southern primaries. Note that Huckabee's numbers in NH are within the dead heat for second so I am not sure how that helps McCain.

Steve V said...

mushroom

I don't disagree, but I would argue that the congested primary season makes momentum all the more important. You could have a scenario where Guiliani loses the first three contests and is effectively done. Huckabee is showing more strength in SC, and McCain is viable. If Romney loses NH, Guiliani heads into SC with nothing, then I see Huckabee and McCain could be the play. Huckabee has less organization that McCain, so all bets are off.

Steve V said...

mushroom

Just one more dynamic in this whole mess. In my mind Thompson is pretty much finished. There were reports this weekend, that Thompson was soliticing support for McCain prior to him entertaining his run. What if Thompson drops out after NH, and endorses McCain? All the polls show Thompson with ample support in SC, that endorsement, plus a NH win, could work for McCain. A longshot, but not out of the realm :)