I've been on the eastern seaboard promoting my book and talking with politically active people, in particular, in New York and Washington, D.C. The summary of reactions would be: McCain on verge of breakout; Hillary-Obama race tightening. If Sen. John McCain wins Tuesday night's Michigan Republican primary decisively over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Romney currently leads in the polls), he could be on the way to his party's nomination. McCain, it is true, did little in Iowa and won by only a modest margin over Romney in the New Hampshire primary. But, since then, big money has flowed into his campaign. Much of the money has been raised on the basis that McCain was the only viable mainstream alternative to populist preacher and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee will make a decent showing in Michigan, which has a large number of Protestant evangelicals. But he cannot win there. Nor can he be nominated. But donors do not know that, and so the McCain campaign has scared many into placing their bets with him. Romney was born in Michigan, and his father was governor there. But McCain carried the state in the 2000 Presidential primary and Romney is now seen there as an expatriate. If Romney pulls an upset win he, of course, will be back in contention for the gold, as he likes to put it. If he loses badly, he could drop out of the race as soon as Wednesday. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a risky bet by waiting to compete seriously until the Jan. 29 Florida primary, which precedes by only a few days the multi-state Feb. 5 contests which probably will decide both parties' nominees. His money already is running low, an ominous portent in advance of state contests which will require many millions to finance. Former Sen. Fred Thompson is a dead man walking and will be out of the game within 10 days. If McCain wins strongly in Michigan, and carries momentum into South Carolina and Florida, he could find himself standing almost alone in advance of Super Tuesday. Tuesday night in Michigan will signal his upcoming victory or a longer, more competitive process. On the Democratic side, party activists are expecting sharp blows to fall in all the contests prior to Super Tuesday. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was rescued in the New Hampshire primary by an outpouring of support not only from Democratic but also independent and Republican women voters. Many who supported her in New Hampshire might not vote for her in a general election. But, with polls and media sentiment running against her, sisters of all ages and persuasions rallied to her. They sent a message that they wanted Hillary to have her chance and not be eliminated after contests in two states. Former Franklin Roosevelt assistant and political sage Jim Rowe used to say: "You can't beat the regulars." If that is true, Hillary will be nominated. Yet, politics has changed in recent years, and Illlinois Sen. Barack Obama has energized a large number of previously uninvolved voters not only in the Democratic Party but across normal political, ethnic, race, class, and gender lines. He is the insurgent candidate in the party yet has attracted recent endorsements from the 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry, former Presidential candidates Bill Bradley and Gary Hart, and several other national party leaders. A larger number are poised to follow suit. Hillary is the candidate of the party's establishment and core interest groups. But even her supporters concede that Obama would be the far stronger Democratic candidate in the general election. Some 46 percent of voters polled continue to say that they could not vote for Sen. Clinton in any circumstance. That's a heavy burden for any candidate before the general campaign even starts. Oh yes, Sen. John Edwards. His position is not as weak as Fred Thompson's in the Republican race. But there is no apparent opening for him and he almost surely will be broke before Super Tuesday, while both Clinton and Obama continue to have millions flowing in. My gut feeling at this point is that McCain will win Tuesday night in Michigan, although not by a landslide margin. The Clinton-Obama campaign will become hyper-competitive and even nasty from this point forward. The Clintons' do-what-it-takes-to-win tactics are well established. Obama supporters are urging their candidate to neither ask nor give any quarter in return. I have no idea at this point which candidate will emerge as the Democratic nominee.