By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A GOP frontrunner?

John McCain certainly looks like one tonight. His speech was much more passionate and direct than the one he gave in New Hampshire, and, for Republicans, there is no more important a prize than South Carolina.

Anything could happen, but right now the least surprising outcome would be McCain’s winning Florida and then wrapping up the nomination on Super Tuesday or shortly thereafter. Certainly Mitt Romney seems to be the only obstacle still standing in his way.

I know, I know. Pretty obvious stuff, eh? Well, at least I’m only giving you 15 seconds of it. The cable nets have been at it all night.

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  1. A loyal reader

    I think it’s hard to call McCain the front runner yet. Romney has won three states, including Nevada yesterday. Huckabee won Iowa and finished a close second to McCain in South Carolina. (Huckabee likely would have won if Fred Thompson hadn’t spent so much time campaigning there.) And Gulliani could become a force in Florida. It’s wide open.But here’s the media question: Did some papers blow it today by ignoring or downplaying Romney’s victory in Nevada — instead focusing solely on South Carolina, which has fewer delegates? Check out the NYT front.

  2. Anonymous

    McCain has Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, Levin plus every other local host (in any given state) with a hard on for Illegal Immigration skewering him on a daily basis and will(now) be shilling for Mitt. Some of the old hand DC Conservatives are trying to stop the fratricide but lots of people listen to those hosts.

  3. jvwalt

    I wasn’t that impressed with McCain’s victory. He only gained 33% of the vote, and would have lost SC if not for a three-way split in the hard-right vote. He really didn’t do any better than he did in 2000; it’s just that this time, the right wing was fractured. McCain still hasn’t shown that he can attract the party’s right wing, and he can’t win the nomination without them. His task will get tougher as the field thins out, and as he has to contest more states with closed primaries. The continued disunity of the hard right gives McCain an opportunity, but it’ll be tough going.

  4. Bill Baar

    You’ve got to be impressed by McCain’s comeback.He held to a strong position on Iraq when Democrats thought the war was going to split the GOP in Congress.Quit the opposite happened and then McCain with a failing campaign surges along with the surge. Huckabee interesting too… two mavricks kicking candidates with money and the GOP establishement on their sides.

  5. Christopher

    Huck isn’t kicking anything except himself after Florida.He’s turned to sucker punching McCain now over his age, and he’s already done the same trick on Romney over Religion. Huck doesn’t have any new tricks in his bag.Huck doesn’t have any leadership skills and it shows.

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