Q&A Friday #82: How Do You Explain McCain’s Come From Behind Victory In New Hampshire?

Question: “How do you explain McCain’s come-from-behind victory in New Hampshire, after everyone had left him for dead back in the summer?” — maledicta

Answer: I can’t speak for anyone else, but even though I was skeptical that McCain could pull it out after his campaign imploded over his illegal immigration stand, I never wrote him off for dead.

In race where you have 5 candidates all taking significant chunks of the electorate, it’s actually easier than you might think to pick up steam. At some points, 1st and 5th place were separated by just 6 points nationally.

But, how did McCain come back? Easy — the mainstream media did most of the work.

What happened was that McCain started doing a massive push in New Hampshire because that was a do or die state for him and he made enough progress to get into second place.

Then, as we got close to primary time in Iowa and New Hampshire, the local papers started doing endorsements and surprise, surprise, almost all of them seemed to be endorsing their favorite Republican, John McCain.

The endorsements gave him a small bump and more importantly, they gave all of his pals in the mainstream media a chance to talk him up. Then, when the establishment Republican types saw that McCain might actually have a chance to win again, they started getting excited about him again, too.

Next thing you know, he won New Hampshire, the mainstream media was pushing him hard core, and the guy who has the best chance to stop him, Mike Huckabee, had, due to a variety of factors (that’s another post) become public enemy #1 in the conservative media.

So, ironically we have the Republican who is probably more widely disliked by other Republicans than anyone else poised to become the nominee while the conservative media is too busy beating up on Mike Huckabee to care.

PS: There seems to be a general assumption a lot of conservatives are making that somehow, someway, John McCain will fold and he won’t be the nominee, but the latest polls have him up in Michigan and South Carolina. Moreover, even though there is no recent polling in Nevada, you have to figure he’s going to win there, too and if he wins all three states, he will, barring a miracle, win Florida and cruise to victory on Super Tuesday.

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