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. sm

    the misogeny of the media and people of the democratic party only can star to correct and clean the path for our children if Hillary voters let McCain to win.

    June 9, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Crazy people in a crazy world...

    Have the impostor Hillary supporters who claim they will vote for McCain (the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my LIFE) forgotten that even if that is the case, Obama will woo a whole new generation of educated, savvy, and progressive youth who will more than out shadow you old racist fuddy-duddies at the poles? No true democrat would ever even CONSIDER voting for that man and his extension on failed Bush policies.

    Was Hillary, now Obama08!!!

    It's as simple as that.

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Jeff in Illinois

    "I predict there will be a bunch of Obama supporters who post their thoughts since they probably do not have a job or own a business."

    wth??! You DO realize Obama supporters as a whole have the highest employment rate of the final 3 candidates (Hillary, Barack, John), right? Why post things which are completely and totally incorrect, and so easy to debunk? You need to learn to lie better "Weatherman"

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. RB from NH

    Not a chance, nice try though!

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Kathy, Tempe AZ

    MaCain is not a 'natural' for the SW, and certainly not for Arizona. We who know him, Republicans, Independents and Democrats, know him all too well.

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Mel

    I am a white woman who happens to support Obama, but I can completely understand the disappointment from so many women at losing this opportunity at the White House. I am the mother of a son, and unfortunately I do not also have a daughter, but I want him to see a woman in command of the White House for him as much as for a daughter.

    I am also terribly worried by comments from so many women (and men) saying they will either vote for McCain, sit home, or write in Hillary. Would this really honor Hillary's efforts? Universal healthcare is of primary importance to her. While Obama's plan does not go as far as hers, please look very closely at what McCain is proposing. Taking away tax benefits to companies will mean that the people who have healthcare through employment will eventually no longer have this benefit. Are we all prepared to fight the insurance companies on our own?

    Voting for McCain has real, serious consequences that will affect all our daughters and sons for years to come. What about reproductive rights for women? Are we willing to vote for a candidate who is not solidly behind Roe v. Wade? And who will appoint Supreme Court justices that may overturn this legislation? I believe, if any of this happened, that would be Hillary Clinton's true defeat, not her concession last Saturday.

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. M.S. Indiana

    Dear McCain you are so out of touch with reality, that you make Bush look like a school boy.... In case you did not know, Repulican party is worth less then dog food this year.... You guys are like the stale and mildewed food on the shelfs, no one looks at you or want you...

    How you gonna bring change when all you can say is war war and bombing.?? you even voted down on your veterans and future hopes of the military, no education or support, thats just the kind of president we need....

    And what about women and human rights ?? you still going to take thoose away ??

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. AB

    ok lets see we've lost 324,000 jobs since the beginning of this year,
    gas prices are above $4.00/gal, this administration has killed off more than 4,500 americans fighting a war in Iraq that should have never been authorized, we have lost about 20,000 jobs since the beginning of this year; home forclosures are at its highest in decades
    food prices are up; Mcsame wants to double down in Iraq for 100 more years stating stupidly that if americans are not being killed then he dont mind staying (how idiotic); womens rights under jeopardy;
    so for all those Clinton supporters voting for JohnMcain
    I wish they get what they are voting for

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Hill's still the BEST

    We Hillary Clinton supporters failed her.
    We failed to see the stealth attack of hate from the Obama supporters.

    We initially loved BOTH our candidates, and indicated so on polls.

    Obama turned THAT show of unity as a WEAPON AGAINST HILLARY TO DESTROY HER.

    Obama arrogantly and presumptuously declared that he would be able to win back the HRC supporters, but not the reverse.

    When we saw the hijack- it was too late. The spin was on.

    So the Obama supporters freely and gleefully blogged their trash while the biased media blocked all the HRC posts.

    The truth is the reverse: Obama supporters have WAY more to lose with a McCain presidency. And why were they SO vindictive and hateful that they were so willing to vote against their party and best interests?

    So NOW... Hillary supporters... DO NOT make THAT mistake again.

    Do not now give these haters our vote.

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Proud1of 26% in WV

    Voters might have a thing or two to say about that.

    June 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. sarah

    as an independent who plans to vote for mccain i cannot understand why the obama zealots think the clinton supporters would ever vote for their appointed messiah. these obama-bots called clintons voters ignorant uneducated racists and a dozen other foul names and then expect these people to play nice get in line and follow the party blindly to its nov. defeat. these are the most arrogant hateful and unreasonable people i have ever seen.

    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Mish

    Dont panic!
    Besides the repubs are forgetting 82% of Americans are against the
    war and the rest of the bush policies
    they can strategize all they want...its fruitless
    Obama will WIN the presidency big time!!
    Trust me I know
    Trust my psychic instincts!!!

    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Rob in ohio

    To add:

    I really don't have a problem w/ Obama per-se, I dont think he's experienced or proven himself w/ his resume at all though.

    But his supporters are seriously the new nazi regime , or at least it seems like that on here. Bunch of insane radicals who are insulting and full of nothing but hate.

    Frankly if I don't like the company a candidate keeps, or that he inspires such hatrid in his followers, I'm not gonna support him.

    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Ron, TX

    Everyone ignore the Republicans. They're playing mind-games with the Democrats again.

    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. EDW


    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Peter E

    McCain is a strong candidate but his real strength is Obama supporters. With their hate-fest they managed to alienate half of their own party, also insulting the entire states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, without whom Obama's electoral count is down the drain. Way to tell people that their vote doesn't matter! Way to alienate people with the "they're racist" panic button.
    McCain will win at least two of these large states (Florida and Ohio) and will squeeze Obama so hard at the other swing states that he'll be singing soprano by November!

    June 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. nick

    McCain has a great chance of winning California. Each General Election the Republicans gain more votes than before, than the Dems did, so that gives them the edge this year, also McCain is able to attract the Latino population easier than Obama. So think about it Obama doesnt have as big of a chance, i mean comeon he lost there to Clinton by almost HALF A MILLION VOTES!

    June 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. AnnFlag

    If McCain thinks he is going to win California, he really is delusional. Nor will he win New Mexico and he has a strong risk of losing his home state of Arizona.

    June 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    What personal favorability ratings is John McCain winning? He does not seem very personable to me. Every time I hear him speak it’s a great way to fall asleep. I would love to be polled one of these days because I never agree with the outcome of most of these surveys.

    June 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Yeah right! When pigs fly!!

    We Dems might have a divided house right now, but a lot of that will change before November because most people will vote keeping their interests in mind...Hillary and Barack will work hard in those states and also in other states.....So dream on McCain campaign strategists....dream on...just don't expect them to come true in Nov...

    Dems '08

    June 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    If unexperience is your only arguement, Obama will be the next president. McCain wants to change health care into a market share thing thinking it will lower the price of insurance, then give a tax credit to families to help with the costs. I did my own calculating and me and my family, its 17,000 a year my job pays. If that expense falls on my lap (which it will if McCain gets his way) then give me a credit to help, I'll have to pay out of pocket, not including deductibles and co-pays the sum of 10,000 a year for us to get the same quality health care I worked for now. He actually thinks the demand will lower the price? Whats to stop the insurance companies from pocketing the profit. Whats to stop the health companies from raising the cost or dropping you at a moments notice or not covering everything, car insurance does? All his policies are based on IFS. He has no plan to help or fix anything. DON'T vote for McCain. His policies will mess everything up royally for the ones that worked hard for what they have now. I smell insurance company lobbists in his campaign.

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Anything message or strategy that McCain has for the general election, will always and continue to be linked to the Bush Administration. McCain's efforts will only fall on deaf ears, and will he win where the Clintons did not.....I seriously doubt that. The GOP is realizing now that there is a serious problem with McCain as their presidential candidate. Obama is going to win......and win big.

    June 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. A Democrat No More

    McCain 08. The Democratic Party thru Hillary under the bus. Why should I be loyal to a party that did not show any loyality to a tried and true democrat.

    June 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Happily Independent

    McCain is no Hillary Clinton. It is not just strategy but your policies have to match your strategy. A small percentage of Clinton supporters may vote for him, but most willl not. It is not in there interest to vote for him. Our troops in Iraq and even though there has been progress, it is a fragile situations. There are three warring factions in Iraq and it could erupt in full-scale civil war. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME! For all of the experience McCain has in foreign policy, he has no clue how to deal with the economy. At first, he was against the Bush tax cuts and now he is for them. For decades, he has been against my policies to deal with global climate change and now he is for them. In 2000, he was the Maverick he is Bush-like when he supports Bush 95% of the tiime? Will the real John McCain please stand up?

    June 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. mike

    let's see.

    All those who voted for hillary are republicans.

    June 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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