National Poll: McCain gets a big bounce

Thanks, New Hampshire:

John McCain’s victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary appears to be paying off.

The senator from Arizona is the front-runner in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the first national poll taken after the New Hampshire primary.

McCain has the support of 34 percent of registered Republicans in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey out Friday. That’s a 21-point jump from the last CNN/Opinion Research poll, taken in December, well before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary earlier this month.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Republican caucuses, is in second place in the new survey, with 21 percent of those registered Republicans polled supporting him for the GOP nomination.

Rudy Giuliani follows with 18 percent, a drop of six points from the December poll, when the former New York City mayor was the front-runner.

“Only McCain gained support among Republicans nationally. McCain’s now the clear Republican front-runner,” said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst.

34-21-18-14-6 (Romney and Fred making up fourth and fifth respectively) — double-digits for McCain. McCain is also ahead in South Carolina’s most recent Rasmussen poll, though that poll was snapped before the debate. Huck leads the averages, but none of those polls reflect post-debate shifts either.

Is McCain now the presumptive nominee? Are we looking at a McCain-Huckabee ticket? How many times will we have to beat back shamnesty if he’s elected (never mind if the Democrats win)? Am I the only conservative who’s getting punchy from being more concerned with stopping potential nominees than with coalescing around one and supporting him?

Is the racial feeding frenzy that’s consuming the Billary-Obama race our only hope now?

Update: Did I mention racial overtones on the Dem side?

She is staking out policy ground slightly to the left of Obama on domestic issues, and noticeably won the votes of those on lower incomes and without college degrees. In the words of that Clinton adviser: “If you have a social need, you’re with Hillary. If you want Obama to be your imaginary hip black friend and you’re young and you have no social needs, then he’s cool.

All together now, “Imagine if a Republican adviser had said this.”

Meanwhile, outside the McCain campaign on our side, Rudy insists he has cash on hand even while his top staffers are going without pay and he’s cratering in Florida, which was his big stand state. Guess who is leading in Florida now? The same guy who’s bouncing nationally.

Update: From the CNN story linked above, some good news, sort of.

Early victories appear to have boosted Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the Democratic nomination battle, with Clinton the choice of nearly half of registered Democrats nationwide.

Clinton is at 49 percent in the new poll, up nine points from the December survey, with Obama at 36 percent, which is a six-point gain from his December standing.

A McCain-Clinton race in November might be in our future. I’ll try to contain my excitement.