McCain’s latest ad is a bit of a gamble Looking straight into the camera he labels Romney’s attack on his immigration record as “ironic” given Romney’s past favorable view of comprehensive reform. He then says “Before I can win your vote I have to win your respect.” Why a gamble? It serves to remind voters of the issue which enraged the base and sent his campaign into a nose dive and it is obviously a “defensive” ad, self-described as a reaction to Romney’s attack. However, McCain is banking –rightly or wrongly — that one of his greatest assets is his own “straight talking” and his opponent’s is his lack of the same. It does however divert attention from what is perhaps a greater strength for McCain– his expertise on defense and foreign affairs. McCain has a whole lot of editorial support and free media on his side but ultimately he has to convince the primary voters and they, with an active Democratic race drawing off Independent voters, may be a more conservative electorate than one he faced in 2000. In a little over a week we’ll know whether NH voters will once again ride to his rescue. UPDATE: If you think ARG polls are on the money this one shows McCain tied with Romney. If you are suspicious the realclearpoltics.com average shows Romney still with a lead of over 5 pts but the trend line for McCain( the red line in the handy chart) shows he has all the “mo.” UPDATE 2: McCain’s ad may be sincere but the title of this Huckabee memo on Romney’s flip flops will make you laugh.(h/t The Page).