Posted: January 7, 2008 8:18 PM
For McCain Camp, It's All Eyes on New Hampshire
Arizona Sen. John McCain’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination has its sights set squarely on Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
The McCain campaign suffered a few staffing setbacks and major funding shortages early on, but the senator has managed to surge ahead in polls in the Granite State, making him former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s prime opposition.
The latest Gallup poll shows McCain ahead with 34 percent, Romney at 30 percent, and Iowa caucus victor Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, trailing in third with 13 percent.
“The four-point McCain lead is not statistically significant, but suggests he has a real chance of coming away from New Hampshire with a victory, as he did in 2000,” Gallup reports.
The show-down between McCain and Romney has been building for months, with the two issuing attack ads aimed at one another.
“Aides to both men were trading public insults, and bashing the other’s candidate — often in starkly personal terms — years before either officially announced their White House intentions. Tuesday’s showdown is the perfect storm of personal animus and political reality,” CNN reported.
Most recently, Romney went after McCain’s potential electability if he were nominated alongside Democratic front-runner Barack Obama of Illinois.
“I frankly don’t think that Senator McCain, despite his service and his length of experience, that that’s going to be able to stand up to the message that Barack Obama has brought forward,” Romney said, according to CBS News. “I think Barack Obama would be able to do to John McCain exactly what he was able to do to the other senators who are running on the Democratic side.”
Tuesday’s primary will likely decide McCain’s viability. Because of his fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucus, the senator is under tremendous pressure to prove himself as a strong contender for the nomination.
“John came to New Hampshire, stood before us and told us what he believes, not just what we wanted to hear. He had the respect, courage and integrity to tell us the truth — the same characteristics that New Hampshire voters will send to the White House when they vote for John McCain on Tuesday,” McCain’s New Hampshire Vice Chair Jayne Millerick said in a news release.
On Monday, McCain planned campaign stops across New Hampshire, meeting voters in Nasha, Keene, Hanover and Concord, among other cities.