The candidates are easing their way into NH to test the waters for the primary. McCain has already been up, greeted and escorted around by my pal, former Congressman Chuck Douglas.
McCain has not been doing well in Republican polls, but has an advantage here I have not seen mentioned. A much higher percentage of voters in NH are registered as "Independent" than in other places. People really like the sound of their voice saying "I'm an independent," perhaps. Independents are eligible to vote in either primary. John McCain will draw heavily from that group. Some conservatives would see that as a problem in itself, but I'm not one of them. I don't prefer McCain, but don't particularly dislike him.
The problem is that if numerous independents vote in the Republican primary, they leave the Democratic primary more heavily weighted to nutcases. We need two sane parties in this country, and a radicalized leftie segment getting an early leg up won't get us there.
On the other hand, close elections have not brought sanity to the Democrats. They may need a resounding defeat for that.