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. GO-Bama - OH

    No you will not win. Enough of the psychological war-fare McSame. We can see right through you McSame. We'll see on election day.

    June 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. latinos 4 mccain

    Hey let's be real. Obama = Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's fidel Casttro. he wants to talk to dictators and his policies are unreal

    June 9, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Obama /Oval Office.

    The Weatherman- If they don't have a job as you say its because of being in the Bushes with Cheney with all the rest of this Republican mess they created ,his rating ,a war that a couple idiots started there is no end to the problems by the Bush Gang .
    In a Debate I can already see Obama putting McShame under the
    table without even trying . What a looser Oh how he will look beside Obama "young , intelligent,soft spoken " makes me feel like laughing right now .OMG

    June 9, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Uncle Sam

    In listening to Sen. Obama and his surrogates, one invariably hears that John McCain is indistinguishable from Pres. Bush and that he supports a 100 years' war in Iraq. One would think that Team Obama could make their case without resorting to such underhanded tactics. But, then again, perhaps they can't.

    Citizens for McCain '08

    June 9, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Scott, Wichita

    Um, to The Weatherman, while I agree with you wholeheartedly, I have to point out the following error:
    "I bet there grammar is horrible showing a lack of education. "

    You used the wrong "there/their/they're"

    It should be "their"

    Sorry, it just made me laugh.

    June 9, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. In California

    I think all of you Hillary and Obama supporters need to take a step back and cool down. Stop disrespecting each other. I am in CA and voted for Hillary and she won the state. That being said, I can never vote for McCain since he is a total opposite of Hillary. So my request to all of the fellow Hillary supporters is that please don't vote for McCain or stay home. We can't afford to pay $5.00/gallon for gas and we will not be able to afford healthcare if McCain gets his way and takes the tax credit away from employers for providing Health Insurance to their employees, that could mean the end of employer provided health insurance for majority of us.

    Can you afford to be irrational about this election?

    June 9, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Tired of W, OH

    You neo-cons posting as Hillary supporters are hillarious. First it was "IF HILLARY'S NOT THE NOMINEE I'LL VOTE FOR MCCAIN!" Now it's "IF HILLARY'S NOT THE VP I'LL VOTE FOR MCCAIN!" You already know that you're voting for McBush. True dems don't believe your lies. YOU ARE PATHETIC AND YOUR TIME IS OVER.

    June 9, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Peter E

    Considering that Obama's supporters have been telling Michigan and Florida that their votes don't count, and that Ohio and Pennsylvania are all racist do you think it is even remotely possible that those states will forgive and forget all those insults? If it were up to Obama supporters the primary race would have been over in February, and we wouldn't have heard the voices of three-quarters of the electorate.
    Obama cannot possibly win Florida, and he'll lose Ohio as well. Without those, he'll lose the general election. Bye bye! And thank you for all those insults!

    June 9, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    We shall see... 🙂

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

    It amazes me how many Democrats I speak to who are voting for McCain since Hillary did not get the nomination. It makes me wonder about the accuracy of the polls which show it to be a dead heat.

    All the Obama supporters need to realize this is not about racism. It’s about who Obama is and hard left stands he has on the issues. Hillary was the more conservative of the two, and McCain is really a moderate who votes on principal and not party line. This is why it will be easy for many conservative and moderate Democrats to vote for McCain. We are not traitors or poor sports, we just want someone who is not going to represent the views of Daily Kos, Moveon.org and Michael Moore. We are Americans first, and it is clear from Obama’s past, that he is clearly in the tank with the “blame America first” crowd. Sorry, but that doesn’t fly with me.

    June 9, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. bob in L.A.


    June 9, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Tjaye, Los Angeles

    And he has all the EWW voters making loud declarations that he can depend on them do make this statement true.

    What is the EWW vote? Emotional Whiny Women.

    The best candidate will win – despite the EWW voters campaign to make the nation suffer more because the DNC didn't respond to their tantrum. Most of them have children; they know how to deal with tantrums.

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Democrat against Obama

    I think if you voted for Hillary in the primary you should write her name in the general election.

    Down with Obama!!

    Write in Hillary!!

    Give the keys to the White House to McCain.

    Clinton 2012!!!!

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Samantha

    Watch California. That's right. The Republican Kennedy Schwarzeneggar can have a lot of influence in California if he really stumps for McCain.

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. joe

    Please stop asking lanny Davis. He is one Bitter Hillary supporter who cling to Power and his ego.
    Stop giving people reasons to vote against Obama. please stop!
    American People are decent people and you should stop insulting their intelligence!

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Kevin

    John Mccain keep dreaming but you cann`t win.

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Belle

    If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. All these Obama supporters continue to trash Hillary and her supporters even though they clearly need their votes to win in November. In January there were several viable candidates who could have turned this country around. Now, we have a choice between an inexperienced and extremely arrogant candidate (similar to Bush II) and an experienced and principled candidate whose stand on the policies are contrary to mine (and most Democrats). Yet this is the choice we must make. Is it better to select the candidate who will almost certainly be incompetent or to select the competent candidate whose policies we dislike? Obama and his supporters will help make this choice but I do not believe they understand how their vicious attacks are influencing this choice. I don't believe I can ever vote for Obama because I believe he inspires this hatred and animosity among his supporters (and that is scary). I will vote for McCain even though I disagree with his policies; I believe McCain is the better choice. He will be competent and he will do what he believes is right-he will work with the Democratic Congress.

    June 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. CW4Barak

    Dream on Old Man River, you and the Repugnants will soon be no more!

    Obama '08

    June 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. AJ

    Me: posted "You STUPID democrats who are planning to vote for McCain: shame on you! You think you are punishing the democrats? You are punishing yourselves and your country. I hope each of you gets shipped to Iraq!!"

    Recess is now over. It's time to go inside and have your graham cracker and let the adults have a discussion about national policy. If your IQ were larger than your hat size, perhaps it might be fruitful to engage you in political debate. But alas, that is obviously not the case. Sit down, shut up and listen to those with differing opinions, you might learn something.

    June 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. snaz

    Wishful thinking

    June 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. LJ

    Democrats and Republicans are struggling to survive in the economy. Both pay $4 for gas, both have mortgage foreclosures, both have loved one in iraq. Both are losing jobs and becoming unemployed. No one cares about loyalty to the Republican Party. We want a better life. OBAMA WINS EASILY!

    June 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. UnstoppableBarack

    "I am a Hillary supporter voting for McCain" haven't heard that before, doubt it will happen, trolls out today in force, the conversation on the ticker thread is useless

    June 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Kristi

    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?

    What surprises me even more is that whites think they are being clever by refusing to vote for Senator Obama because they feel Hillary was robbed. Are you stupid? No wait, you must think we are stupid to belive that horsecrap.

    June 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. james

    McCain, no strategy or marketing needed for my vote.

    This Hillary supporter is voting for you because you are frankly the second most qualified and a TRUE AMERICAN!!! Obama flipping my candidate off was the 100th reason I would never vote for him.

    McCain'08 for Clinton '12

    June 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Believe I'm still for HILL.

    Call me a shrill for Hill.... but don't think I'm not serious.

    Let me repeat:
    Obama used our early support and unity for BOTH our candidates against us.

    He said HIS supporters would defect if Hillary were the nominee, and He arrogantly boasted Hill's would come back to him in the end.

    Obama used the open-mindedness of HRC supporters and our unity to advantage Obama and damage Hillary.

    Why didn't the media question why ALL his supporters would just forget their values and party loyalty and forget the WAR, the ECONOMY, the Courts, blah blah blah... and desert the party nominee.

    Why didn't they question Michelle Obama when on TV she said as much for her vote as well?


    Fool us once......

    PLEASE those who love Hillary... DO not betray her twice.

    June 9, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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