In NH, Stakes Are Huge ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jan 08, 2008 7:08 AM

(I attended this Town Hall in Manchester, yesterday) ...

In case you weren't aware, the stakes are huge today in New Hampshire today. 

A Romney win today, combined with his second-place finish in Iowa, would make him once again the frontrunner.  But more than that, it would probably also guarantee his victory next week in Michigan -- where his father was governor -- thus making him the "undisputed" front-runner for the GOP nomination.

The Romney folks (in fact, last night at a speech I attended, Mitt Romney, himself , made this point) argue that two consecutive second-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire would make him the consistent winner, and thus, the candidate to beat.  But this theory ignores the fact that Michigan is next week.

Don't forget two important things: 

1.  John McCain won Michigan in 2000, and
2.  Because Michigan moved up their calendar, and was thereby "punished" by the DNC, Barack Obama will not even be on the ballot in the state.  This, of course, means in a two-man race against Romney, McCain would essentially have Michigan Independents all to himself.

New Hampshire is always important, but this year -- because of the compressed schedule -- the winner of New Hampshire is probably also going to win Michigan. 

Yes, today is huge ..