New Hampshire: Is It Make or Break for '08?

McCain, Romney, Clinton, Edwards and Obama set hopes on New Hampshire.

ByABC News via logo
January 5, 2008, 10:56 AM

Jan. 5, 2008— -- This year, it seems as if the entire New Hampshire primary has been crammed into one long intense weekend.

Two days after the Iowa caucuses, candidates have moved on to New Hampshire, where primary voters will head to the polls Tuesday.

With three days to go, and an ABC News/Facebook/WMUR-TV debate tonight, candidates are working harder then ever to win over voters, particularly those fickle independents, in a state that has a history of making or breaking presidential runs.

At the moment, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama seem to have the momentum. What happens in New Hampshire will determine whether they can keep it.

On the Republican side Mike Huckabee is up, Mitt Romney is down but not out, Rudy Giuliani is back, Fred Thompson is missing and McCain appears to be surging.

McCain finished fourth in Iowa, but he may be the candidate with the most momentum in New Hampshire. He's been rising in the polls and drawing large crowds, but doesn't want be called "the comeback kid."

"I hate that phrase because it was used by somebody else some time ago. How about 'the Mac is back'? How about that?" he joked to reporters in New Hampshire.

Romney comes into New Hampshire reeling from his second-place finish in Iowa.

"I am looking for the win here. I need your help here," he told supporters at a diner on Friday.

The latest ABC News poll shows Romney and McCain in a virtual tie in New Hampshire, and the former Massachusetts governor has been hammering the Arizona senator with a steady stream of negative ads. One such ad says "He [McCain] even voted to allow illegal immigrants to collect social security."

McCain fired back. "Gov. Romney ran negative ads against my campaign, against Gov. Huckabee. It didn't work. I doubt it will work here in New Hampshire either, and I advise him to say some things that are positive."

In a state without the large evangelical Christian base that helped him win Iowa, Mike Huckabee's expectations are modest. His next real test is not New Hampshire, but South Carolina a week later.

"We're going to have to go convert a lot of people in New Hampshire in the next five days. A big tent revival out on the grounds of the Concord state capital," Huckabee told ABC News Political Correspondent Jake Tapper.