MERRIMACK, N.H. --Something has shifted here in NH. As we got off the bus and headed into another town hall, we get word from McCain's advance team that the room is packed.
"Good luck getting in there," campaign staffer Justin Stevens yelled to the press as he ushered the Senator off the bus.
For the second time in a row today, McCain's events were mobbed by voters and press. This morning he addressed about 500 people in a church basement - one of the largest crowds he's had in a while.
This afternoon a VFW Hall in Merrimack was also packed to the gills for the McCain's appearance. It was standing room only in this hall (capacity 400) with voters pouring down the stairs and out of both entrances to the building. Those left in the cold including some reporters and McCain staffers resorted to standing in the parking lot listening through open windows. Lately, after events end, people have been walking away with lawn signs and at this Merrimack event many stayed behind and watched his press conference.
Among the onlookers was the Spierer family who saw McCain in 2000 but brought their daughter for the first time.
Mrs. Spierer is a registered Democrat but wishes she could vote for McCain, "because he has the clarity, the consistency, the strength. Even if I don't agree 100 percent with everything he has to say I can trust him."
The Spierer's have met all of the presidential candidates running this year and take their role as primary voters seriously. They fondly recall memories of running into previous candidates like 1992 Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey in pizza shops and being able to ask him questions.
"Later on a friend of mine in the supermarket said, 'I liked Mr. Kerrey's answer to your question. I'm going to vote for him.'" Mrs. Spierer explained. "There's no other place you can have that kind of personal touch and be able to relate to the candidates on a one to one level and it's very important to us."