McCain got almost 50% of the vote and beat Bush by nearly 20%.
THEY LOVED MCCAIN IN NH.
This time around they love him a lot less.
This time he got less votes and beat Mitt by a scant 5%.
AT A TIME OF WAR.
At a time of war McCain - WAR HERO, and hawk with decades of national/international and defense/national security experience - much more than any of his rivals - did worse than in 2000.
McCain is less popular in NH in 2008 than in 2000.
Less popular with conservatives.
At a time of war.
That's why I say - by comparison - his 2008 performance SUCKED BIGTIME.
He should have done better this year than in 2000.
SO WHY DIDN'T HE? He didn't because he is not a conservative.
And he is not good on a broad spectrum of GOP issues: taxes, immigration, and campaign finance reform are just the biggest.
I think the GOP can win with McCain. But he's not conservative enough for me - or MOST REPUBLICANS.
I hope that soon conservatives can rally behind one alternative.
But maybe we need a few place holders between now and the convention.
Maybe we need a few conservatives to do well regionally between now and the convention and maybe we rally around one conservative at the convention.
That's what Mitt and Fred and Hunter should do: they should commit to stay in and win as many delegates as they can in order to be as strong as possible at the convention.
That way, this time - in 2008 - the primaries might not confer inevitability on anyone.