John McCain the Comeback Codger?
Des Moines Register columnist Marc Hanson dubs John McCain the “Comeback Codger.”
Every four years, it seems, one of the presidential candidates left for dead rises from the tomb and surprises everyone on caucus night. Around this time in 2004, John Kerry and John Edwards came alive, finishing first and second.
Who will it be this time? Rather than waiting until Thursday night to find out, we in the media believe in the public’s right to know the future. So we do our best to sniff it out beforehand. Just a few days before the big night, more than a few political bloodhounds are saying, “What about John McCain?”
While you wouldn’t call McCain a comeback kid, could the 71-year-old senator from Arizona turn out to be the comeback codger?
McCain is close behind Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. He’s spent the past two or three weeks collecting endorsements and picking up speed. If he finishes in the top three here, he sails onto New Hampshire with a tail wind.
Indeed, McCain has moved into third place in the national polls and within the margin of error of second place Mike Huckabee. Indeed, he’s in a virtual tie for first in the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics survey, the most recent national poll, with 19 percent to Rudy Giuliani’s 20 and Huckabee’s 19.
Iowa continues to be a two-way race between Huckabee and Romney. Bob Novak, though, reports on a “new survey of an oversized sample” wherein a “private corporate interest commissioned a phone bank survey of 15,000 Iowans who say they will attend Republican presidential caucuses” which “shows Huckabee slipping and no longer ahead of Romney.” For what it’s worth, “McCain was the leading second-choice candidate for both Huckabee and Romney voters.”
New Hampshire appears to be a two-way contest between McCain and Romney — and McCain is trending sharply up.
What’s truly amazing, though, is that we’re less than a week away from the actual voting and the race seems much more up in the air than it was a month, let alone three, ago.
Photo source: The Plethora.