[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/27/art.land.gi.jpg caption="Some Republicans or hopeful, others prepare for the worst."](CNN) - Eight days out and some Republicans see small glimmers of progress, if not hope. But most are fairly bleak about the GOP’s chances.
“Feels like the makings of a landslide,” said one veteran GOP operative who has held top jobs in presidential campaigns and been closely involved in past congressional cycles.
Another longtime strategist who is involved in a number of congressional and state races this year said many Republicans who had run good campaigns were asking a daunting question heading into the final week: “Will all these newly registered voters go to vote for Obama and then walk out without voting for a lot of candidates they have never heard of, or will they go all the way down the ballot to create coattails?”
Somewhat more optimistic was a GOP strategist closely involved with the McCain campaign.
“Things improved” over the weekend, was this strategist’s take. “No mystery. Lots of red states closer than last week.”
This operative said rural voters and white downscale men had moved a bit toward the Republican ticket in recent days, making the battleground states somewhat more competitive.
A second senior McCain campaign adviser said Senator McCain had taped new advertisements to be used in the final week. One, due out as early as Monday, is McCain speaking to the camera about what he considers the best components of his approach to the economy, and his take on the downsides of the Obama plan.
Later in the week, this senior adviser said, the McCain campaign plans to launch what he called a strong “commander-in-chief for the close” ad.