What Does NH Mean for GOP?

Pundits discuss where the candidates stand the day after
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2008 4:10 PM CST
Riley Burley 15, left, and Jon-Luc Comtois 15, get an autograph from Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at his primary watch party in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 8,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As candidates close up shop in New England, the chattering classes look to the state of the race. Here are four takes on the Republican outcome in New Hampshire:

  • Wall Street Journal editors give John McCain credit “for sheer doggedness,” saying the Iraq surge’s success gave him a boost. He’s now the candidate “best positioned to appeal” to all GOPers, but uniting the party’s “anxious and fractious wings” will take new platforms; the Journal coyly suggest tax cuts.

  • Both McCain and Mitt Romney need Michigan badly, Outside the Beltway’s James Joyner insists. Mac is cash-poor and must cement a frontrunner position. Mitt—born in the Automotive State—becomes “increasingly implausible” with each loss, and a second defeat “in his own backyard…would inflict a mortal wound.”
  • Matt Yglesias allows Mitt’s “two silvers and a gold” speech “sounded ridiculous,” but says Romney’s still in “okay shape.” Michigan’s not a must-win for the delegate-count leader: He can survive second-place finishes so long as the gold medalist keeps changing.
  • The National Review’s Mark Steyn is downcast, saying all the candidates lost last night—even Mac’s comeback is being written off as “a local phenomenon.” The GOP needs a new candidate. Alan Keyes, anyone?