John McCain is feeling confident that he'll win tonight in New Hampshire, but it's not because he's wearing his lucky sweater, using his lucky town hall and knocking on the table whenever someone mentions the number 13.
Nor is it because some Republicans find it hard to pull the lever for a guy who believes the Angel Moroni paid a visit to Joseph Smith in Missouri in 1832.
Rather, McCain told reporters on his bus Monday that there are four reasons he's doing better than he was before: He performed strongly in debates; he won the endorsement of Sen. Joe Lieberman; his town hall meetings in New Hampshire have gone well; and the "surge" is working in Iraq. "Thank God it's off the front pages," he said.
Yes, thank God for that.
Otherwise, voters in New Hampshire might have heard that the Pentagon announced the deaths of two more American soldiers today; that militants have just killed two key leaders of U.S.-backed militias as part of a strategy to hit back at Iraqis who have "embraced partnerships with" Americans; and that nearly half of the State Department employees who have refused to volunteer for service in Iraq say they've done so in part because they oppose the Bush administration's policies there.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said that the Angel Moroni delivered golden tablets to Joseph Smith in Missouri. In fact, Mormons believe that Smith found the tablets in New York sometime after he received a visit from the angel in Missouri.