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McCain Plans 'Comeback Kid' Surge

Sen. John McCain's recent uptick in the polls shows that he is working on a classic "comeback kid" campaign aimed at moving ahead of the pack in the New Hampshire primary, according to advisers.

"The standout for McCain is New Hampshire. There is no question that McCain's strategy is totally focused on the 'comeback kid' strategy there," said one. "All his time doing retail politics in that small state where retail is possible is starting to pay some dividends, at least enough to keep him in the game."

For McCain, the New Hampshire strategy works for two reasons, argues the adviser. First, McCain beat President Bush there in the 2000 primary, and independents are a large group and favor mavericks. Others believe that McCain should borrow money to ensure a victory in New Hampshire.

"Win there and he's got staying power and real cash," said the adviser.

By Paul Bedard