So -- the media tore McCain down, and now we'll begin to pick him up. We'll start to use words like "surge," "rising," "momentum." His campaign staff will send our clips, complete with praiseworthy adjectives, to donors, who will, in turn, open their paypall accounts for McCain.

By now you've probably seen the latest CNN/WMUR GOP primary poll of New Hampshire

...... Now ..... July
Romney 25% .... 34%
Giuliani 24% .... 20%
McCain 18% .... 12%
Thompson 13% .... 13%
Others 12% .... 8%
Unsure 9% .... 13%

The margin of error is +/- 5 points.

A few points.

1. This may be an outlier. Or it may be a valid snapshot of public opinion.

2. If it's not an outlier, you're seeing the beginning of a John McCain bump, some of it natural, some of it earned. A rival campaign strategist told me, "He’s hit his cellar and the time he’s spending in NH is paying off. I think his basement is around 12 and he can only grow from there which is what we’re seeing."

3. Mitt Romney's campaign will probably respond to the poll by not responding, lest they betray any panic. They probably aren't panicking: Romney's internal surveys do not show a drop-off. Indeed, even in the CNN poll, Romney's favorables are up, and a full two thirds of the electorate says they are undecided. Giuliani is more likeable and more electable, according to these voters, than Romney is, but Romney brings more change and more experience than Giuliani does.

4. What's all this about Rudy Giuliani ignoring New Hampshire and the early states? He hasn't stepped up his visits to the Granite State, so what's responsible for his (smallish, within the MOE) increase?

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