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Union Leader to Endorse McCain?

Rumors are flying fast and furious that the Manchester Union Leader newspaper is planning to endorse the presidential candidacy of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in its Sunday edition

The Fix has heard the endorsement is a done deal from at least one well-informed source, but those closest to McCain have clammed up -- perhaps to avoid stealing the Union Leader's thunder and angering publisher Joseph McQuaid.

If true -- and we should know sometime late tonight -- the endorsement would amount to a major coup for McCain, whose chances at the nomination are hinged heavily on winning New Hampshire.

The Union Leader carries real weight among conservatives in the state, but the paper's most recent endorsements have been hit or miss. In 2000, it went for wealthy publisher Steve Forbes, who finished a distant third in the primary. In 1992 and 1996 the Union Leader went with Pat Buchanan, who finished second behind President George H.W. Bush in '92 but managed to win the state four years later.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 1, 2007; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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