[cnn-photo-caption image= "http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.mccain.ap.jpg" caption=" John and Cindy McCain."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Although the Republican presidential race could still be anyone's to win, it looks like John McCain is picking up some serious steam.
It's quite remarkable when you think back to last summer when a lot of people, including me, were convinced it was all over for McCain.
An average of three national polls conducted after the New Hampshire primary now show McCain on top with 32%. He's followed by Mike Huckabee at 20%. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are tied at 14% each, and Fred Thompson has 7%.
McCain is also viewed more favorably than any of his major competitors. A new CBS/New York Times poll shows 57%of Republican primary voters, including more than half of conservatives, like McCain. That's up dramatically from 37% just last month.
Voters give different reasons for jumping on the McCain bandwagon: some think he's more honest than other candidates, while others describe him as more "moderate" and willing to work with the Democrats.
Of course, it's important to remember that nothing's set in stone when it comes to this Republican race. If McCain wins Michigan and South Carolina, that could cement his front-runner status. On the other hand, if he loses either race, all bets are off. But for the moment, the political gods are smiling on the 71-year-old John McCain.
Here’s my question to you: Why has John McCain's popularity among Republicans suddenly skyrocketed?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The word is conviction. McCain is running against the love-child of John Kerry and Ronald Reagan (Romney), the Anti-Clinton of Hope Arkansas (Huckabee), and a mayor who needed taxpayer dollars to protect his mistress (Giuliani). McCain led the charge in advocating the troop surge in Iraq, and stuck to his guns when it was considered political suicide. McCain refused to shy away from his stance on immigration because he refuses to pander. After window shopping for a few months, a splintered Republican Party is realizing that their best bet is the straight-talk express.
Pat from Warner Robins, Georgia writes:
McCain's popularity is soaring because he is being John McCain this time around and people respect him now more than ever. He is a candidate with real heart. And this time Bush's cronies aren't out to bring him down.
The answer is simple: The Republicans have figured out that the plethora of bigots and hardcore conservative zealots they have to choose from don't have a chance of beating a Democrat. Outside of McCain, the Democrats could put up a lizard and still win the general election against the Republican field. The Republicans may not like McCain but they know he is the only one that gives them an outside chance of winning.
McCain's surge in popularity in recent weeks comes after months of voter exposure to the buffoons that are his Republican competitors. He is the lesser of the Republican buffoons, so his popularity is surging by default.
James from Olathe, Kansas writes:
As an independent, while I do not like all of McCain's positions, I would vote for him over all the others from both parties. He may well be the only honest person of all those running!
John McCain has mojo? Jack, really, you're kidding, right?