The Boston Globe noticed what I saw on Friday, an uptick in GOP primary interest by New Hampshire's undeclared (non-Democrat, non-Republican) voters. All year they'd been preparing to vote in the Democratic race by about a 2-1 margin. Now almost half are mulling the GOP race. The Globe take:
[This] could hurt Obama and help Republican John McCain, who made a direct pitch yesterday to independents with the nation's most famous independent, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, at his side.
That's a theory: McCain won the 2000 primary, after all, by scoring 61 percent of the undeclared voters who cast Republican primary ballots. So he must be surging with New Hampshire independents, right?
Yes, McCain is pulling less than one-quarter of the undeclared vote, putting him in third place. And note where I got this graph: From the Globe story.
Making this post a little bit stale is the release of a new CNN New Hampshire poll today… but it shows McCain winning 23 percent of the undeclared vote to Giuliani's 25 percent and Romney's 30 percent. In other words, pretty much the same result. And the proportion of undeclareds who will vote in the primary is down again, from 46 percent to 40 percent. There has been no bounce whatsoever from the LieberMcCain endorsement. But I'm confident we'll be hearing the McCain comeback story all the way until the brokered GOP convention. "John McCain has only 13 delegates and a rusty jeep, but will the Grand Old Party turn to him to save the day?"
Other factoid from this poll: Ron Paul has the firmest support in the field, with 41 percent of his voters decided for him. Romney is next with 28 percent.
(The original Globe article was co-written by Sasha Issenberg, whom if I'm not mistaken was the eagle-eye who debunked some anecdotes in David Brooks' Bobos in Paradise.)