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. seriously, still for HILL!!!!!

    The more you block me CNN for being pro-Hillary, the more votes AGAINST Obama there will be.

    Watch and see.

    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?

    THIS IS THE TREACHERY AND BIAS OF WHICH HRC SUPPORTERS SPEAK. THIS IS THE INEQUALITY AND INJUSTICE OF WHICH WE SPEAK.

    Fool us once......

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

    June 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Larry of boston

    McCain does have some inherent advantages – like experience in military, terrorisn, foreign folicy, national politics, and about a 100 other areas where Mr Obama has no clue and no experience. My first choice was Hillary, but now I am voting McCain – I am a democrat but I am deathly afraid of Obama and even though my candidate Hillary urges us to do so, I will not vote for a junior senator with ZERO experience.

    June 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. JP

    These people are nuts if they think that Joe Liberman will put Connecticut in play. Polls show that he would lose his seat in a re-vote against somebody like Ned LaMont - he is that unpopular.

    June 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Jim from IL June 9th, 2008 12:48 pm ET

    You old Hillary supporters better wake up and learn that Obama beat her fair and square even though she played dirty. You all better submit and line-up behind Obama your new leader.

    I can't believe someone actually stands by comments like this. It almost sounds like a threat.

    June 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Keep Dreaming McCain=Bush. In the end we are all still Democrats. No more Republican rhetoric!!!!

    June 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. OH

    Many Americans are rather stupid. They don't think about the party and what it means to be in power.

    If 51% were so stupis to vote for Bush twice, I expect they'll do the same for McCain.

    Lets see what those votes for Bush got them; record gas price at the pump while Bush laugh with his Saudi friends.

    Over 4,000 died in Iraq and ten of thousands maimed while their family suffer long term.

    Food prices are sky high and everything bought today is ten times higher than in 2000.

    A few, vet few has gotten so rich off the tax payer backs and all others have gotten poorer.

    Ask yourself, what has Haliburton done for you lately? Ask yourselves, were are my tax dollars going?

    All those whose stupidity preceeds their common sense can go right along and vote for McSame.

    June 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Ian

    Look on the bright side. If the U.S. dollar collapses we won't have any businesses left to contribute to global warming.

    Problem solved.

    June 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. glhf

    Can someone say delusional to McCain taking California?

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

    Maybe he will...look at the HRC supporters still parroting the lies she told....the illiterate vote is up for grabs for McCain....they supported the "many faces of Hillary Clinton" – we need more literacy programs....badly...try all HRC supporters first

    June 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. The Lady

    I don’t think anybody can predict what is going to happen in the General election right now, after all what was predicted in the primaries did not happened. Let’s just wait and see what happens since we are playing with a different ball.

    June 9, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Rob from Maryland

    For the ones who didn't get the memo: "HILLARY LOST the race and ENDORSED Obama". If you still want to vote for McCain, go ahead and do it. Stop whining and being a cry-baby. This is a free country. You can do whatever you want. But, you have to live with the consequences of what you do.

    June 9, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Kate, Atlanta

    Rick Davis is another old man yelling at a cloud!!

    June 9, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Wayne

    In a strange twist of irony, Americans must overcome racism to save itself from certain destruction. It's obvious what McCain brings. If you give huge tax breaks to the top 1% AND continue a war that costs 10 billion per month there are literally no resources left to improve public schools, improve healthcare, secure borders, fix social security, build infrastructure, fix infrastructure, respond to crisis like Hurricane Katrina etc.

    With billionares getting tax breaks and billions going to the war with no return the US will just sink. Thats what happens if we go with John McCain. The strange twist of fate Americans must select a black man named Barack in order to fix our current situation. If we succumb to racism we all fall together. You will not be able to recognize this country in 4 years with President McCain.

    June 9, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. DJ, LA, CA

    California ? Dream on...go ahead and waste your money and time. It ain't gonna happen. I would be surprised if McCain can even win his home state of AZ especially the way he was booed at the Diamonds game.

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Informed voter from florida

    Bring it on in Florida Senator Mccain! Myself and many , many other Clinton supporters will be voting for you!

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    MCCAIN IS FOCUSED ON WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE MOON THAN WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT HERE IN THE U.S. IF BUSH HASN'T GIVEN PEOPLE A WAKEUP CALL THEN IF YOU VOTE MCCAIN YOU WILL GET A CALL YOU DON'T WANT. BUSH WAS A MISTAKE AND MCCAIN IS THREE TIMES A WORST MISTAKE.

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    BY THE TIME BUSH OUT OF OFFICE, GAS WILL BE

    $6 A GALLON. IF MCBUSH GETS ELECTED, IN

    4 YEARS IT WILL BE AROUND $10 PER GALLON.

    WHAT WAS THE PRICE OF GAS WHEN BUSH

    STARTED HIS FIRST TERM? IN OUR TOWN $1.90

    MCBUSH CAN'T EVEN SPELL ECONOMY & DOESN'T

    NEED TO. HIS PILL POPPER WORTH

    HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. AND THEY GET FREE

    MEDICAL INSURANCE. WE PAY FOR IT, BUT HE THINKS

    IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE FOR US. THE FOLKS WHOSE MONEY

    HE ACTUALLY SPENDS.

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. s

    McCain win CALIFORNIA?!?

    ha! what a laugh. I'm from Cali and there is no way it's going to McCain.

    McCain that's a good one... thanks! 🙂

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Dylan

    If they think they will get within even 10 points in California they're dreaming. I live in San Diego County – the 2nd most conservative county in California after Orange County – and I am STILL yet to see even ONE McCain bumper sticker or sign ANYWHERE. Obama can be seen on the freeway every day.

    I sure hope they waste their resources here.

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    I'm shocked how you treat each other.
    Everyone need some respect whatever your color, religion and / or profession is, Please try at least to be human?

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Mar

    You go John!! You are the real change!! Not all that blather that Nobama has filled the airways with.
    MCCain 08

    June 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Independent in Iowa

    Wow – this seems to be the same argument that Hillary tried to point out to those educated ones out there. She was nothing but bashed for stating the obvious.

    Polls mean nothing.

    Popularity vote means nothing.

    Caucuses mean nothing.

    Delegates mean nothing.

    Large states and Electoral Votes mean everything! If the democratic party followed the same process as the general election (this is why the party always loses), she would be our nominee based on our General Election rules.

    Now, say you are sorry to Hillary for mocking her when she stated the obvious. Those of you who are educated should have been able to figure this out. If we have a nominee that cannot win the GE, we all lose.

    Obama has a lot of work to do. Hillary's endorsement helps, but I cannot forget how the democratic party has treated her over the past 17 months.

    June 9, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. H D Phelps

    Wow....Hillary supporters are so negative!! If she'd gotten the nomination, I would have voted for her....But in reading what some of them have to say, how strong their hate & resentment is toward Obama....so sad that racism is still very much alive. The Clinton camp pulled the race card left & right, but it's funny, I never heard the Obama camp pull the gender card.....

    June 9, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Steve

    That's such a ridiculous argument. In the primaries it was democrat vs democrat. Those people preferred one over the other. That doesn't mean that McCain can step in and beat Obama.

    June 9, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Naomi

    LOL

    McCan't and the Retardicans don't have a clue whats about to HIT them this fall. This election year is going to (once again) be an upset. First it was with the Clinton's falling short and now its going to be all those red states turning to a blue-purple. Retardicans are going down HARD...

    June 9, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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