A flashback to 2000? Maybe so or maybe not. Either way, Sen. John McCain seems to be making a late charge in New Hampshire after a series of high-profile endorsements.
In a just-released Rasmussen Reports poll, the Arizona Republican finds himself only four percentage points behind the leader Mitt Romney, at 27 percent and 31 percent respectively. The next closest competitor is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who registers at 13 percent.
The numbers reflect a rapid rise for McCain, who in a Rasmussen survey just one week ago received only 18 percent support. His vault up the polls comes on the heels of endorsements from the Manchester Union-Leader (popular among conservatives and independent voters), the Boston Globe (which resonates strongly in the southern parts of the Granite State) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-CT, who is seen as a major Independent political figure as well.
This is the first time in several months that any candidate has been within single digits of Romney in the Rasmussen Report survey. But, as the report's authors note: "It remains to be seen whether this is a temporary bounce or a lasting change."
Rasmussen's polls are often disputed because of their methodology, which relies on automated recorded voice technology rather than live interviewers. Indeed, a separate University of New Hampshire poll has McCain, while still in second place, with 22 percent support compared to Romney's 34 percent.
In the 2000 Republican primary, McCain pulled off a surprise victory in New Hampshire over then Texas Gov. George Bush. He went on to fizzle in South Carolina amidst a highly controversial whisper campaign. Several GOP insiders recently told the Huffington Post that McCain, whose campaign nearly crumbled half-a-year-ago under mismanagement and poor finances, has positioned himself to have a legitimate shot in the wide-open GOP presidential field.