McCain projected to repeat N.H. success

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose campaign was considered over last summer, emerged from the abyss Tuesday night as he was projected to win the New Hampshire primary.

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With 12 percent of precincts reporting, the Arizona senator was ahead 37 percent to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 28 percent, leading the news networks to call the race.

Romney's strategy heading into the national primary of Super Tuesday hinged largely on a wave of momentum resulting from wins in Iowa and New Hampshire. After losing to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in Iowa and McCain here tonight, Romney has a lot of ground to pick up in Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina before heading into Florida Jan. 29.

For McCain, his second victory in New Hampshire might be sweeter than a win over George Bush in 2000 as it will likely propel him into national frontrunner status. Many in the national media continue to doubt whether Huckabee has broad appeal outside of evangelical and socially conservative voters and believe that McCain is more likely to compete across the board.

A few months ago, most political observers would have bet heavily against tonight’s results as the national press was quick to write McCain’s political obituary following a significant staff shake-up and the revelation that his campaign was broke.