October 15th, 2008
07:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Rosen: Where is the room for John McCain to succeed?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/mccain1.jpg caption=" McCain hopes to win over undecided voters tonight."]
The CNN poll released today showed a dramatic decrease in undecided voters. In fact in the key battleground states of Florida, Colorado and Virginia, John McCain could get every undecided voter left and still not have enough to win the campaign.

This is the key turning point in the campaign.

It is much harder to change people's minds than to convince them to move from the undecided block.

That is what makes John McCain's task so difficult tonight. He has to use the issues that have brought people to the Obama camp – namely the economy – and convince them that the decision they have made about who helps them more in these troubled times, is the wrong decision.

All the talk about McCain "taking it to Obama" on Bill Ayers or his past associations, it seems pretty irrelevant to the real challenge at hand. Can John McCain convince people that they are wrong in their judgements?

What are his choices tonight?

-Personal character attacks?
-Social issues like abortion and same sex marriage – the so-called values retread?
-Create fear of a Democratic controlled Washington within Congress and the White House?
-Yet another economic plan?

Lots of choices, none of them sure winners particulalry when Barack Obama has shown a steady hand on all of these issues.

Filed under: John McCain • Presidential Debate
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. cairy

    name me one country that a black men is leader and that country is doing well ?

    October 15, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. SHELLI1313

    The room is at one of his 7 – 9 mansions or his 13 cars or the 7 free towers from At&t and Verizon that he was given.

    This news can be fact checked and you'll find that it is the truth.

    Shelli of Georgia

    October 15, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. motherof2


    I am so sure you are black. When has Obama looked down on you? Give me a break. Sounds like one of McCain's staffer is not interested in the debate tonight and is here. McCain is the man who could not look at Obama in the eye like a real man would do. So whatever. Your one vote want be enough.

    October 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. faye hicks

    John McCain will not do what he says. So he was in Viet Nam, so was my husband. Obama can do what he says, if he taxes the oil companies. MCcAIN HASN'T. Palin isn't Joe-six pack

    October 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. Anita of georgia

    John McCain, by going negative and not talking about the things that's effecting the American People, he shot his self in the foot. He miss the opportunity to talk about the economy. The most important thing to the majority of the people. The days of thinking that negative ads work, is over when so many people are in need and hurting. John McCain, I truly believe has lost his chance of ever being President of the United States. John McCain should have been the John McCain of 2000, his chances would have been better.

    October 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. Obama Insider

    I hope it doesn't get out that Obama will appoint William Ayers as Secretary of Education. If that gets out, they'll be plenty of room for McCain. Whoops ... I guess I let it out of the bag.

    Do you want William Ayers as Secretary of Education???

    October 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. madeline and jim frank

    We think Senator McCain should just blast Obama tonight with all the concerns the American people have. Let him have it.

    October 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. faye hicks

    Palin is a hot head and if John McCain wins, and dies in office. She will have her in a world war.

    October 15, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. christina

    i really liked mccain in 2000 it's sad to see him so far right.maybe if he was himself from the start he would be in the lead.or maybe im wrong this is how he has obama right where he want's him

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. MW Georgia

    Why is John McCain down in the polls Lou Dobbs had the nerve to ask this question. I am not a Jonn McCain fan but the reason he is behind in the polls is Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly,Sean Hannigy,Carl Rove, Rush Limbaugh,Glenn Beck, and you to Mr. Lou Dobbs. All in a nut shell. Along with all McCain's negative campaine ads they all gave him free negative campaining to go with it.

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Voting for McCain So I guess I'm a Racist Mr. Murtha

    I think you all may be surprised on Nov. 4th. The only poll that counts is that one. 3 weeks is a long time to inform people. And yes character, judgement and experience are really issues.

    October 15, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. Susan

    The plotical race probably will do a major turn around in the next few weeks.

    October 15, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Chloe

    Clearly McCain needs to go on the attack. The reason the voters don't care that Obama was one of ten members of a major charitable foundation's board of directors, one of whom was a violent 60's war protester turned do-gooder, or a liberal organization doing voter registration had to fire some morons in Nevada for registering Micky Mouse and the Dallas Cowboys eighty times isn't because THESE ARE NON-ISSUES, it's because they haven't been told about them enough times.

    I certainly hope McCain brings these issue up in the debate tonight. Man alive, that'll be a game-changer.

    October 15, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Briana

    I'm watching project runway. I know who I'm voting for.

    GO OBAMA GO!!!!!!!!
    va and dc you better come out and vote NOV 4th

    October 15, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. NB

    Look at McCain he looks funny.

    October 15, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. faye hicks

    I work for a hosptial in Texas. McCain voted and hurt us so we could keep clinics open for the poor kids.

    October 15, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    We've got Joe Six-Pack....Joe The Plumber.......Where's Joe SCHMOE on Wall St?

    October 15, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. faye hicks

    Hasn't McCain been giving the wealth to the rich for a lot of years

    October 15, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  19. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    That poor Joe the plumber must be confused by now thanks to McCain

    October 15, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. zuq

    McCain, You're a clown. Hang it up. You have no plan!!!!

    October 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  21. Law Students for Obama

    Hahaha Obama Insider I guess Jesse Jackson is slated to be Secretary of State too, huh? Because Barack and Jesse are tight like that....yeah.

    October 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. faye hicks

    McCain was with Bush when he gave all that money to AIG

    October 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. fearmongers

    don't spread my wealth!!!


    This is hysterical

    October 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. Briana

    sorry I meant NC!!!!!!! come out NOV 4TH and vote

    October 15, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  25. Josh, San Jose

    There is no room for him to succeed anywhere-it's too late and he was too stupid, just like Hillary.

    However, in 2012, Sarah Palin (who draws the biggest crowds of anybody and blitzed Obama by 10 million people in her debate) will be free of that idiot McCain and will launch a successful campaign for President.

    By that time, Obama will have been impeached for failing to deliver the country out of the depression as people will be selling apples on street corners.

    Sarah Palin 12 & 16'

    October 15, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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