June 9th, 2008
11:45 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain campaign: We'll win where Clinton did

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/09/art.davisvideo.cnn.jpg caption="A new McCain strategy video stressing the Republican’s strong position heading into the fall."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - McCain campaign manager Rick Davis posted a 14-minute “strategy briefing” on the presumptive Republican nominee’s official Web site over the weekend that concedes the GOP faces one of the most unwelcoming election environments in history - but claims that John McCain is still in a strong position, due in part to a strategy of appealing to areas dominated by Hillary Clinton during the primary season.

Top on the campaign’s list of targets: southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio, which backed Clinton over Barack Obama by hefty double-digit margins. Clinton won both contests.

Davis says that McCain will be able to compete with Obama in major Midwestern states like Michigan and Wisconsin – and that McCain’s association with Democrat-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman will put Connecticut in play. He also tells observers to “Watch California!”

McCain’s personal favorability ratings are "the highest for any official running for office today," claims Davis – and far surpass Obama’s.

Davis says the general election fight has been too close to call for months, according to Gallup polls. The two candidates split independents, and McCain pulls in a larger share of Republicans than Obama does Democrats.

Unfortunately for McCain, Obama’s numbers, gathered during a heated Democratic primary season, are likely to improve in the coming weeks. And this year, there are far more Democrats than Republicans, making McCain’s current edge among the party faithful far less significant.

“The GOP brand troubles have created a larger group of independent votes that we need to appeal to this election cycle than normal. No longer can a Republican candidate run by just running up the score with the base,” says Davis.

But he adds that the presumptive Republican nominee outperforms his own party’s generic ballot by double digits nationwide, as well as in areas like the border southwest – including the Arizona senator’s home base – and in the crucial swing state of Florida.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Edgar

    Am I the only one who finds McCain and company incredibly naive in thinking they can win California?

    June 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Lance

    The main problem with this country and our political process in general is political allegiences. Whether it be the politicians themselves or us the people political allegiances are killing us. I am a Democrat and I am 26 yrs old. The first time I voted was in 2000 and have voted democrat in every presidential race. Yet why do i "owe" the democrats my vote in 08? Why are we so quick to label democrats as stupid if they decide to vote mccain.

    McCain is not McSame (Stupid soundbites are for stupid people). He has stood up to Bush more than many Democrats. Why do you think the GOP has spent the better part of the last ten years constantly attacking McCain. Maybe because he is not a slave to his party. When it comes to things he cares about he works across party lines to accomplish it. Look at his record on the environment or campaign finance reform.

    I am voting for MCCain for many reasons. The simplest is to explain that at first I wanted a conservative democrat (especially fiscally conservative). Now that my choice is between super-liberal and moderate republican I think my choice is easy although my final decision will be based on the issues.

    June 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Vig

    Write her in to win – on your November ballot. Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. rich

    One thing is clear: this election will shake up traditional constituencies. I personally know many Republicans who will vote for Obama over McCain but no Clinton supporters talking about voting for McCain. But then I only know a handful of Clinton supporters.

    Others posting here have the opposite experience. Anecdotal evidence isn't that telling (or cancels out) in this election.

    June 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Billy

    McCain is about to the get the flipflopper routine put on him.

    Immigration – his bill, now he flipflopped
    Tax Cuts – scream/argued at those who endorsed, now he supports it – flipflop
    Torture – his own history dictates his decision, now he flipflopped

    These subjects were dear to him and ever since th emaverick has become the nominee, he has 180 onhis stance on them and more...
    Wait till this thing gets started...

    June 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Stan


    They're really just the same few hundred or so people, apparently with a lot of time on their hands, posting and raving on every message board and blog they can find. They look like a huge group on the internet because all the crazies are concentrated here – if you were to look at just the 'net you'd think a majority of US citizens think 9/11 was an inside job and Ron Paul is the most popular Republican candidate ever. In the real world however, they're just fringe groups.

    These are the same people who claimed 10,000 would show up at the RBC meeting in DC – a whopping 300 actually did. Even before Hillary dropped out and endorsed Obama was getting 80% of the democratic vote in the polls – enough to stay above McCain. That number will only go up now that Clinton is on Obama's team.

    Do not fear the Harriet Christians of the world – just ignore the Hillary trolls.

    June 9, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Eric

    I love it when people call Obama an elitist. He's the poorest person in the race. He wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He actually worked for everything he's gotten.

    We have 5 months to go any edge McCain has now will be chipped away in large chunks.

    If you want the war to continue without any progress, if you want the richest people in America getting huge tax breaks, if you want corporations to be rewarded for shipping jobs over seas, if you believe that health care is a privilege not a right, then vote for McCain and hopefully your job won't be shipped over seas (or you get fired so your company can hire new people at less pay) and hopefully you don't get a life threatening ailment . McCain doesn't care about you unless you're rich and privileged and never have known what it's like to worry about putting food on the table or getting laid off or figuring out how to pay medical bills.

    June 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. atypical

    too funny! the "Weatherman's" comment about Obama's supporters' grammar and spelling, used "there" instead of THEIR. don't you just hate that: trying to make a point and then shoot your own self in the foot?

    June 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. DEX

    Repubs try as you may but Obama will be the next President of the USA. American can simply not continue along the same destructive course.

    To the Hillary supports who have other agendas and say for all sorts of outlandish reasons why they will never vote Obama. So what!!

    You would rather lose a nation rather than support someone different from yourselves. America do need your kind any ways good bye 🙂

    I AM AMERICAN!!!!!

    For the first time in my adult life I am proud to be an American.

    My voice now matters, becuase people are listening.

    This maybe to DEEP for many to understand, but if they would have walked in the shoes of the voiceless in this country for hundreds of years the would understand.

    June 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Susan, PA

    I will hold CNN resposible if the hate among Dems increase.
    This ticker business is moving us apart.

    I know some republicans are posing as Obama/Clinton supporter and spreading hate with the other.
    and CNN is supporting it.

    No more War, No more higher gas prices, No more layoff.
    I love this country. Please do not betray my trust.

    June 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. sdmackey

    When Pigs Fly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Jason

    You Democrats that are thinknig of switching to McCain....

    How dare you! You are below Obama. Respect him as your new leader

    June 9, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Jim

    dear clinton supporters, go ahead vote for mccain, and pay more blood and $$ for new wars. thanks!

    June 9, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Dandelion.

    The Repubs have lost their ever loving mind if they think they have a shot in California.

    June 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. kim portland, oregon

    we're still waiting to hear why on earth you would jump from hillary to such an obviously heinous choice of mccain.

    some of you are probably the limbaught non-thinkers and some of you are so immature you've got your bottom lip pouting out and arms crossed across your chest, but for the small remaining group, HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?!?!?!!?!!?!??!?

    b/c hillary lost, you are now voting to kill more americans, send your own kids off to war to be killed, you're condoning MORE WARS that mccain has already promised, continued job loss to americans in favor of foreign countries, lobbyists running your life, more business contracts going to foreign countries over OUR OWN...

    before you vote for mccain, research the dangerous creep you are punishing us all with--he is NOT a straight-talker, he doesnt have enough knowledge of the middle east, he admits he doesnt know anything about the economy--THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE FOR MOST AMERICANS!!!!!!!

    the BOMB IRAN approach to the middle east is dangerous, OUTDATED, dangerous, against the modern approach to dipolomacy that every other country is taking, unintelligent, dangerous, OLD-fashioned, not effective, not successful (ummm, iraq, people!!!), DANGEROUS, and stupid!!!!!

    if you want to vote dangerous and stupid into office, then move to venezuela or china--and leave america for us AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. mollygonz

    Keep dreamin McSame. Obama's already pulling ahead of you in the Gallup poll. You have nothing to offer and even Clinton supporters will eventually acknowledge that. They just need time to heal.

    June 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Obama Nation

    I hope McCain wastes a lot of his money in California.

    June 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Mud

    Obama people believe the hatred and "Clinton or McCain" people are actually Democrats.
    And the Clinton people actually belive the "Bow to Obama, you lost" people are actually Obama's people.
    I would bet that most of you people also believe that the girl you are toalking to in email is a hottie, when it's probably just a dude.
    Stop reading these comments. Go out and make an informed decision.
    Who is 95% inline with how Clinton votes?
    Who is for pro-choice?
    Who is against the war?
    Read what these people want, not what the pundits want you to hear.

    June 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Mark

    Yep. McCain will win where Clinton did. All he has to do is show his differences with Bush and prove his change will be better than the second coming of Jimmy Carter`s change. Can`t believe the Dremocrats like Kerry, Kennedy, and all the rest of the far left wanted an unproven, Change Preacher, over Clinton. Heck, love him or hate him Clinton polices worked didn`t they ? (Bettet than the last 8 years ) I have a feeling the best move would have been to have Hussin Obama as the Vice President this time around. 8 YEARS OF exp FOR Obama and 8 years away from Rev Wright and the boys would have worked wonders for Obama`s stature.
    Now with the elite wanding to rush their " l can vote for a Black man, look how far we have come " might have blown their chances again. As some have said only the Democrats could screw this up and l think they might have, Time will tell.

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. TK

    Boye: you are right on. This is a Republican so called "strategy" to exploit the devision.

    Captain: You are my hero for picking that one from "the weatherman".

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. George

    Its so funny. now the Mccain's victory now depends on Hillary's supporters. They think Hillary's supporters are so stupid to burn theri own house. Please note that Hillary's supporteres are democrats not the republicans.

    June 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Foreign Observer

    "What's the matter with Kansas?" indeed. It saddens me to see so many people who supported HRC (or claimed they did) tout the horn of the man who will drive the US deeper into debt, deeper into international disregard, deeper into war, deeper into poverty. And I'm puzzled by all those references to "rude Obama supporters" - who cares if his supporters were rude? He wasn't, he ran a consistenly respectful campaign, and he will carry Hillary's policy banners into the White House. Is there a racist component to people's unwillingness to vote for him? for a white woman's son? would you disrespect your mothers like this?

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    Hmmmm Alzheimers is already setting in.

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Seam, Florida

    Hey Dummies, do you see Hillary Clinton endorsing John McCain?

    June 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Melba

    Any Democrat who dares to say they will support McCain was never a Democrat to begin with.

    If you actually read about the candidates you would see that Hillary and Obama have quite a bit in common when it comes to their views.

    I think most of you are upset because the thought of an African American in the white house scares the crap out of you.

    June 9, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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