McCain has huge weekend for endorsements

January 28, 2008 11:25:07 PM PST
It was a big weekend for political endorsements. With just a little over two weeks until voting begins, the biggest newspapers in Iowa and New Hampshire picked their favorites.

The big winner this past weekend was John McCain. He won the all three of the weekend's big new newspaper endorsements, plus independent Democrat Joe Lieberman.

Senator John McCain won the editorial support of the Des Moines Register, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and the Boston Globe. The icing on the cake was Monday's endorsement of independent Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, who praised McCain for being honest about where he stands.

Unfortunately for McCain, he voted for comprehensive immigration reform, which has put him at odds with the Conservative Republican base, which is most likely to vote in Iowa and New Hampshire.

"Frankly, I think if I were a betting person, I would not bet on him getting the nomination," says Bruce Cain, Ph.D., ABC 7 Political Analyst.

Bruce Cain believes if McCain finishes second in new Hampshire or Iowa, it'll be a surprise.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee didn't pick up any of the weekend's big endorsements, but he remains the man to beat in Iowa.

While Mitt Romney launched this attack ad against Huckabee, Huckabee is responding by courting Christian voters.

Polls show Huckabee with a widening lead in Iowa, but Professor Bruce Cain doesn't believe that will translate to New Hampshire.

"There isn't that Christian Southern Baptist base in New Hampshire. It's more of a secular fiscal conservative state."

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won the endorsement of the Des Moines register. It was a welcome relief from negative stories that have recently dogged the campaign. Her strategy is to promote her family ties and her likeability.

As for Barack Obama, he won the endorsement of the Boston Globe and continues to rise in the New Hampshire polls.

"I think the Barack Obama phenomenon is real. I think he really has to win in either Iowa or New Hampshire, and preferably both," says Cain.

If he doesn't win early, it won't get easier. Hillary Clinton's machine is going to be harder to beat in states like California that don't have open primaries.

John Edwards has to be disappointed he didn't get the endorsement of the Des Moines Register. He did four years ago and came in second behind Senator John Kerry, which tells you something about the importance of these endorsements.