McCain's Fourth Place a 'Victory'

Strong Iowa finish puts him in position to win NH
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 3:42 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., greets supporters after he made a statement to reporters regarding Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Iowa...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Caucus night was a triumph for presidential hopeful John McCain, even though he placed fourth, a sliver behind Fred Thompson. McCain had no money to run ads in the state and had been written off as done for months. But his respectable finish in Iowa, coupled with Mitt Romney's trouncing, puts McCain in pole position for a win in New Hampshire on Tuesday, reports the Arizona Republic.

With 96% of precincts reporting, McCain was in a near dead-heat with Thompson at 13%. McCain, who was already campaigning in the Granite State last night, congratulated Mike Huckabee on his caucus victory, but took the opportunity to twist the knife in Romney. "The lesson of this election in Iowa is: One, you can't buy an election in Iowa. And Two, negative campaigns don't work."