A View from McCain Headquarters

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PHOENIX, Ariz. - Super Duper Tuesday is finally here and it looks like it's going to be a super day for John McCain.

The latest polls show him leading in nine of the 10 most delegate-rich states. And he's ahead in the polls in almost all the other states holding primaries, caucuses or conventions today. There are 21 altogether being held for the Republicans.

But if this year has shown anything, it's that we must beware of those polls because the only polls that really matter are the ones where real voters are casting real votes.

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

But there are some storm clouds on McCain's horizon. In a couple of cases today, we mean actual, real storm clouds.

Nasty weather, possibly including tornadoes, could make it challenging for many people to get out to vote in Missouri, Arkansas, and other Midwestern states.

Missouri matters because it's a bellwether state that has an uncanny habit of picking the presidential winner every four years. If McCain shows real strength there, it could be a sign he can do well against the eventual Democrat candidate - especially if that Democrat has a weak showing in Missouri against their opponent today.

Arkansas is probably a bigger deal for Mike Huckabee. If he can't win there, that's going to be real bad news for the former Arkansas governor. He'd also have to win another couple of southern states today to call his campaign still viable.

California's Gold

But the biggest worry for McCain is California, which is home to 170 of the 948 Republican delegates being allocated today.

Mitt Romney has suddenly surged in polls there. A couple polls put him just two or three points behind McCain, while a few others have him ahead by seven or eight points.

McCain is worried enough that he suddenly decided to forego his own chance to vote in Arizona so that he can campaign till the very last second in California.

Still, California is not a winner-take-all state like nine of the others today. So even there, McCain is likely to pile up delegates. The pundits estimate in the end, the Arizona senator will probably end up with about 700 of those 948 delegates chosen today.

One more thing about California -- we may not know the result there for awhile. By some estimates, around a million Californians are voting by absentee ballot today, meaning they won't get back in the mail for a day or two.

McCain in the Line of Fire

But there's more storm clouds ahead for McCain. The former Navy fighter pilot has already been taking heavy flak for days now from heavyweight conservative radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.

Also, big-name evangelical James Dobson says he's so opposed to McCain that if it comes down to Obama or Clinton vs. McCain this November, he will sit out the November presidential vote.

And Dobson says that'll be the first presidential election he's ever missed out on.

Paul Strand,CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent, is in Phoenix, Ariz., today at the Biltmore Resort, which will be the site of John McCain's expected victory celebration tonight.

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Paul Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News

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