The Corner

Endorsing McCain

Drew Cline, editorial-page editor of the Manchester Union Leader e-mails me about their guy:

Liked the talk about McCain endorsements (including ours) in The Corner this morning. A little perspective for your non-New Hampshire readers concerning the Union Leader endorsement. As a rule, when we endorse a candidate, we ENDORSE a candidate. We like to be active participants in the process, not ivory tower philosophers who make a pronouncement and assume the whole world has heard and obeyed it.We typically write several editorials backing our preferred candidate, whether the race is for mayor, governor, or president. I didn’t do this research myself, but I’m told that in 1976 we did 87 editorials backing Reagan over Ford. We’ve done three for McCain so far, so I guess we’ve got some catching up to do. As for McCain getting liberal newspaper endorsements, that might well cause conservatives in the early states some concern. But here’s an interesting development. All year, New Hampshire independents have broken for Democrats by about two to one — roughly two thirds have said they’d vote in the Democratic primary, a third in the Republican primary. But in the last University of New Hampshire poll, there was a sudden and huge shift — toward Republicans. The poll found just over half of independents saying they’d vote in the Democratic primary and just under half saying they’d vote Republican. That might help Ron Paul. But if the NH independents suddenly breaking Republican in the last few weeks are not the anti-war independents, they might be switching to vote for McCain, who has pounded the pavement here in the past few weeks much more than any other candidate. Because New Hampshire has so few social conservatives, and most of them are Republican, I’d be surprised if those independents were suddenly deciding to break for Romney or Huckabee or Thompson, who is down into Duncan Hunter territory here.

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