September 15th, 2008
08:05 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain pulls in big donations, smaller crowds

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Palin attended separate fundraisers Monday."]MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain told a private audience Monday night that "no matter what you see in the polls," he and Sarah Palin are underdogs.

It's a tough race, as you know. We got a strong head wind, and we've got a lot of work to do," the White House hopeful said at a fundraiser in Miami. "And no matter what you see in the polls recently, Governor Palin and I are the underdogs."

"We're the underdogs," he repeated. "That's where we like to be. That's the best place to be in this race. So we're going to be working hard and campaigning every single day."

The GOP candidate was addressing a crowd of donors at a Miami hotel. In his introduction, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said McCain has brought in $26.2 million to date from Floridians, $5.1 million Monday night alone.

McCain may be pulling in big money – but his crowds seem to be fading since he and Palin split up on the campaign trail.

The Arizona senator’s campaign drew about 3,000 people to a "Road to Victory" rally Monday morning featuring the senator and his wife Cindy – nowhere near the number needed to fill the 15,000-seat Veterans Memorial Arena.

Large sections of chairs were left unfilled. Stacks of signs clearly intended to be distributed to a larger crowd could be seen on a number of seat cushions - hand-painted campaign signs ready to go with phrases such as "We (heart) Todd" (as in, Todd Palin), "Moms 4 Palin," and others with more standard McCain fare.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Alvaro Renatti

    I would like to see more respect from the Obama's supporters. It's hard to believe that they are the cheerleaders of change and hope, and by just reading these comments it certainly does not represent that. I believe supporters from both sides of the aisle need to show respect for the other candidate!

    McCain/Palin 2008
    Clinton/???? 2012

    September 15, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. Dylan

    Enough said...all the hooplaah is about Palin and once the focus is brought back to the actual issues, McCain draws smaller and smaller crowds...fewer and fewer votes.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  3. Roland

    Palin didn't pan out. What in the world was McCain thinking?

    September 15, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  4. martin

    McCain needs all the money he can get to pay for the phoney ballots sent to democrats. Come on CNN get some backbone. Do some investigations. Or do you want to be complicit? Are you journalists or mere entertainers?

    September 15, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  5. Dan

    He couldn't fill half the seats in a 15,000 seat arena in a "red" state. Hear that, John McSame? That's the sound of your convention bubble deflating as more and more people see how uninspiring you are in person. Well, those who actually show up anyway.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  6. Mindscape

    To all:

    McCain and Palin represent the only solution for this country.

    It does'nt matter what polls from liberal states say-McCain is in VERY GOOD shape to win all the electoral votes Bush won in 2004.

    Close race in Pennsylvania+Minnesota=McCain/Palin '08

    Get a life, you lousy liberals.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 15, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  7. Tony

    Republicans usually don't spend too much time at rallies because they're busy WORKING for a living. Can't say the same about most Obama supporters who expect the government to be their parent.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  8. Why Obama

    I'm voting McCain the man that can work with all parties for the good of our country. I'm a democrat.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. nerakami

    John McSame... you are a dishonorable man running a very dishonorable campaign...

    we, the American people deserve better than that...

    September 15, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  10. obama 08-12

    it looks like mcpalin are loosing ground, their honeymoon did n't last longer.

    September 15, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  11. help me understand folks...

    we know obama is afraid of Sarah...

    now i hear that even the mighty oprah winfry is afraid also

    September 15, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. GT in CA

    No one wants to hear grand-pappy McCain saying the ideas he stole from Obama. Do you think McCain would have picked Palin if she was 5' 2" and 200 lbs? What a joke.

    September 15, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Sue in MI

    If he would stop changing his story every 15 minutes when he gets called on a lie, maybe people would want to hear him. I think he's done himself in, and the polls will soon make them true underdogs. Palin is a bigger liar than he is "I will fully cooperate with the trooper investigation. I have nothing to hide." "Oops, Governor Palin will NOT be cooperating with any investigations." Something to hide, dear? And don't blame this on the Democrats-this investigation was underway before we ever heard your name! These two almost make Bush look honest. (ALMOST)

    September 15, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  14. woman for Obama

    McCain is incompetent regarding the economy and foreign affairs. He wants to continue to run Washington to the benefit of the very rich and to the disadvantage of us average Americans. NO TO MCCAIN!!

    September 15, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  15. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    McCain paling?

    September 15, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  16. Chad

    Gee, that's interesting. McCain's crowds "dwindling" to several thousand is newsworthy, yet Obama's recent crowds in the hundreds were buried deep in the stories. Funny how that works.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  17. Normal

    So Republicans can go completely insane spewing sexist venom at Hillary for 16 years but any criticism of the Helicopter Moose Hunter is off limits?

    Yeah right – it couldn't be we are criticizing someone who is obviously unqualified to be VP let alone P when/ir Senator McCain's age catches up with us?

    Reality is noone cares to see John, he's old and old news.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  18. Cathy, Peoria AZ

    SAme message, different day. When will America wake up!
    To JoeCool, left wing extremists don't hate women, just liars

    September 15, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. Ito

    All "big money" folks are falling apart. See what's happening on Wall Street?

    Each minute that ticks the economic clock is banging louder than every other thing.

    The Economy – Insane!

    The Republicans made it so.

    September 15, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    She is a novelity, like Obama was. His glitter, is fools gold. Not worth a thing..

    September 16, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. Republi-CON

    And now we'd like to hand out the award for who has had the greatest negative impact on the American Economy in recent history... and the nominees are..(drumroll Please)
    O.Bin Laden: for his cowardly act of terorism on 9/11, that took 2800 lives.
    G.W.Bush for his mismanagement of America's fiscal position and for starting an unnecessary war..
    Katrina for the havoc and chaos she wreaked in Aug 2005 taking many lives in NO and displacing hundreds of thousands of Americans

    Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner..and he's a local..

    September 16, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  22. TonyinKentucky

    Surely, even the wealthy will be jumping off the McHoover B.S. Express.
    Bill Gates doesn't want to have to scrap over a piece of cardboard or a space under a bridge.

    A vote for McCain/Palin is like playing Russian Roulette with only one empty chamber.

    September 16, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  23. RJW

    This is scary. I can't American people are still voting Repubican. Those of you who are still voting for that party you must not have so much money where you havn't felt the affect of this failing economy, gas prices, lost of jobs, fail health care system, lost of home. Keep on living the good life with another four year of Repubican I bet what little money I have left you will feel what the rest of us are feeling. Don't take that gamble!!!!

    September 16, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  24. Unshrub

    Isn't he taken public financing?

    September 16, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. Mike, Vancouver

    When John McCain and Sarah Palin call themselves Mavericks, maybe they should check out the real definition of a Maverick.

    Check out the real TV show as it says that:

    Mavericks were reluctant heroes
    They would rather talk than fight
    They would offer a cigar
    They would buy a drink
    They would play a round of cards
    They would not choose gun play as they were rather bad at it.

    All of this contradicts the John and Sarah as Maverick platform.

    I do not understand the claim to fame.....

    September 16, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
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