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. POLLY

    The hate and insults we Hillary supporters have been getting from these Obamarats, I will easily vote for McCain with no second thought, 4 more years.

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

    I agree with this anaylsis. I am a Hillary supporter but have always respected Senator McCain for his service in the military.

    I can also say that as I have heard him speak during his campaigning this year, I have found him to be a very likeable candidate. He has shown a surprisingly funny side to him and while he is not a great orator, he comes off sincere.

    I will be voting for McCain and wouldn't be surprised to see him take my home state of California. With a Republican governor and many independents like myself, he could squeak it out here.

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

    All the Republicans I know (including my veteran husband, and my Korean War combat veteran dad) are voting for Obama. None of them can stand McCain. Much of the evangelicals in the GOP can't stand McCain. So from whom did McCain's campaign borrow these numbers?

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Peter FROM NJ

    Scott Hughes in Atlanta Please take a note Rick Davis is not The Davis you mentioned.
    HILLARY 08

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I'm still waiting for the post-Convention rhetoric when the real campaign slates come out. That's what conventions are for folks. They haggle and argue on what positions the party will take on various issues.

    I find it remarkable how much McCain's rhetoric has evolved into Obama's message over the past 6 months. I invite anyone to review them, here on the CNN web site.

    I find it remarkable how much Obama's campaign has not really said anything specific, other than "pure rhetoric".

    Again, their slates will not be made public until after the conventions.

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Carlos



    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. A Dem in November

    Operation caous may have helped your during the primaries and will help you with the troll bloggers posing as disgruntled Hillary supporters, but in November what goes around will come around.

    Manipulating the perception of how people actually feel and vote only goes so far – to November that is.

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Boye

    The more I read about a lot of these so-called "Hillary Supporters" the more I think they are simply Republicans in Democrat clothing. Although, I know that there are some genuine Hillary supporters who would not vote for Obama but a lot of these people on these blogs are simply Republicans trying to exploit the divide between Democrats.

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Les-Wa

    Michigan will go to McCain, PA, OHIO, WEST VIRGINIA and other states Bush had won in 2000 and 2004, the GOP will keep them.

    June 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Dodjie Gomez

    I am a lifelong Democratic and a strong supporter of Hillary. I will now vote and campaign for McCain because I do not find any substance in Obama's rhetorics.

    June 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. A. Harrison in Georgia

    HILL- Larious.....let the games begin. The last laugh is everything it is said to be.

    June 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Herman in LA

    Hillary knew what she was doing when she was running against Barack. The Bush's and Clinton's all talk on the phone, they all sleep in the same bed with one another. Thats why she campaigned against him like she did.

    That's alright though he will prevail in the end.

    You can't stop God's work...

    June 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. She is still the BEST

    All you Obama bloggers…

    Quit with campaigns and management.

    We get it… HRC did not utilize the internet to get professional bloggers filling the posts 24/7.

    We get it, HRC did not manipulate the press to gain an advantage.

    We get it… older people and activist women did not rally to her until it was too late.

    We get it… Hillary did not use lies and propaganda to unite by dividing the people and being boastful.

    We get it… Hillary was not comfortable by presenting herself with fancy hype and stuck to the issues and got "policy wonked" for it.

    We get it… HYPE trumps subbstance.

    We get it RACE trumps gender.



    June 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Mary Bartel, Canada

    After electing Bush for two terms, the world will not be surprised if the Americans get it wrong for the third time. The problem is that it is not only the Americans who are paying the price, it is the whole world. Long ago I said that the whole world should participate in electing the American President. For sure, you know that the whole world voted for Obama. Please, make sure that the Americans do it right this time.

    June 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. captain

    For The Weatherman 12:53pm-

    In your rant about how Obama supporters have poor grammar, you misspelled "their."

    June 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Operation Chaos

    And here comes the Operation Chaos Republicans in ....5...4....3...2...1, I will not vote for Obama, Write Hillary in, she was cheated,.......LOL

    June 9, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. ATL Enlightenment

    McCain, you should fire Davis. We chess players call this a blunder. Using the same failed strategy against the same opponent will only lead to another failure.

    If this is all the republicans have then we Democrats are in great shape for the fall!!!

    June 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. tj

    There is no need for Hillary supporters to push for Hillary to be Obama's VP because the DNC and the media is already pushing hard for that not to happen just as they did to keep Hillary from being the democratic nominee.

    June 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Jeff

    LOL! No you won't! You'll hardly win anywhere. HAHAHAHA!!!

    McCain is funny!

    June 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    we will see about that.............
    this is a new century, new people,

    the Mcbushes, the mcclintons, the CNN are all outdated

    we are a new generation..........

    like i said what is written by the universe, man can not delete..

    June 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Ric

    Clinton Dems for Mc Cain '08

    June 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Michelle

    I wouldn't worry too much about staunch Hillary supporters. I'm sure they will come around after hearing a few McCain flip-flops and straight out lies. As a matter of fact, read what he did to his first wife Carol McCain on Huffington Post. We're in June, I'm sure Hillary supporters will be over it by November. Their wounds are still fresh, give them time to heal.

    June 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Chris

    No Obama!! Keep your chin up Hillary!!! You won in our eyes!!


    June 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Kristi

    CNN, again, the truth hurts? Is that why you will not post this?

    It's the truth that the white democrats defecting John McCain are doing so because they are racists and will never vote for a black man to govern this country. Why is the truth so difficult for white americans to accept?

    June 9, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. AJ

    It's going to be interesting to see what happens. In many parts of the nation you have real people that are not taken in by pie in the sky promises for "hope" and "change." Rhetoric doesn’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table. If McCain can come up with a sensible economic plan, rather than just a call for more ineffectual tax cuts, which only sink the nation farther into debt and devalue the dollar, he will do well. For the last 8 years we have had a president who ran and won on nothing more than vague promises and little experience. Obama is the G.W. Bush of the Democratic Party, all hubris and no substance. I am a Hillary supporter and a lifelong democrat. I would rather see McCain in the White House with the hope that the democratic congress will keep him in check, than see Obama in the White House. I believe Obama will be a colossal failure and that, coupled with my belief that a democratic congress will do nothing but rubber stamp every bad decision he makes, is the reason I am willing to cross party lines for the first time ever and vote republican. The thought of Obama with no oversight is just frightening.

    June 9, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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