Mccainkevinccoxgetty

After everything, this is McCain's night. After the awful news about Ron Paul's ugly, repellent past newsletters, I find myself rooting again for the man who was my second choice. He did this from scratch, after his campaign bottomed out last summer. He faced a much-better financed establishment candidate in Romney, he stuck with his immigration position, he kept up a schedule that would have drained a man half his age, and he stuck with the surge, a tactic that worked far better in damping down violence than I expected, even if it has not achieved its critical political objectives.

The Democratic race is riveting - as women seem to be backing Clinton much more emphatically than they did in Iowa. But this is McCain's night. His victory over Romney was a very, very big one. Right now, it looks like a 7 point lead. That's decisive.

Mitt Romney's strategy was to win the first states with his overwhelming money advantage and organization. He has lost Iowa and lost New Hampshire - decisively. Giuliani is sinking fast. Maybe Romney can persuade the Republican machine to help him in South Carolina, but Huckabee is very strong there. This is beginning to look like a McCain-Huckabee race.

(Photo: Kevin Cox/Getty.)

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