On McCain’s Seven-City N.H. Bus Tour

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 7, 2008 9:22am

ABC News’ Bret Hovell Reports: At a town hall meeting Sunday in Salem, New Hampshire, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., promised a win in the New Hampshire primary — confident new vocabulary for the candidate who finds himself leading his rivals in the most recent polling in the Granite State.

Early Monday morning in Nashua, N.H., McCain set out to make good on that promise, launching a seven-city bus tour of New Hampshire in the final day before Granite State voters cast their ballots.

He was already speaking like the victor.

"You have my sincere gratitude for the wonderful experience and the opportunity that you have given me," McCain told a crowd of nearly 200 assembled in Nashua’s city hall plaza.

McCain’s confidence is beginning to look well-founded.

A bus load of supporters is following him to every stop, and the press corps traveling with him has tripled in size in the last week. Hundreds wait outside his events, and on Saturday in Peterborough, NH, hundreds could not get in to join a standing room only crowd.

Campaign staffers are optimistic but restrained, not wanting to raise expectations too high. McCain needs a victory here to validate his resurgence in national polls –- and to keep his promise of a win in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

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