October 31st, 2008
01:38 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain campaign predicts 'one of the greatest comebacks'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/31/rickdavis.jpg caption="Rick Davis says McCain is closing gaps in the polls."]

(CNN) - As late polls continue to shows Barack Obama with an edge over John McCain in key battleground states, the Arizona senator’s campaign manager told reporters Friday the Republican nominee had momentum heading into the race’s closing days.

"We fight back," campaign manager Rick Davis said on a conference call, echoing McCain’s recent stump speech. "And we are witnessing, I believe, probably one of the greatest comebacks since John McCain won the primaries."

The latest CNN national poll of polls shows that Senator Barack Obama is at 50 per cent to McCain's 43 per cent, with 7 percent undecided. But Davis said surveys are irrelevant in the race’s homstretch.

"Guess what? Polling isn't accumulative," he said. "It's whatever it is today, and we see a very, very tight race today, so it really doesn't matter where it was ten days ago."

Davis claims that the campaign is beating back the perception that Obama is better suited to handling the financial crisis.

"One thing that is clear is that we've established a momentum; we've increased our gains in virtually every one of the battleground states throughout the course of the week," Davis said. "We've had probably the best 10 days of polling since the convention. We think we've shaken off the effects of the financial collapse that suppressed our numbers prior to the last debate."

Some CNN analysts see a different story.

"Obama's lead in most of the battleground states appears to be holding steady at this point," said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. "If McCain can't close the gap over the weekend in states like Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, there is no way for him to reach 270 electoral votes on Election Night."

And the McCain campaign is pushing its ground and advertising efforts as hard as possible in those states, pouring additional resources into advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts in battleground states like New Hampshire and Ohio.

"We're banking on a very close race," said Davis. "I mean we think this is going to be a tight electoral college year. We think this is going to be a tight popular vote year. There's no indications otherwise today."

And he responded to Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s morning announcement that the Democratic nominee was going on the air in McCain’s home state of Arizona, and back on the airwaves in traditional GOP strongholds like North Dakota and Georgia.

"We encourage them to please pick other states that we intend to win, to spend their campaign cash and spread it out as much as they can," said Davis.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. jeff in MA

    I'm glad to see McCain hasn't lost his sense of humor.

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Kevin

    So can we now call the McCain campaign hypocrites yet again? I seem to remember just days ago when they were bashing Obama for saying he has already won (when he actually hadn't, but whatevs).

    Thanks for the "bold" prediction Rick, but it doesn't change anything.

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Loyal Democrat in MD

    Too little too late is right! McCain is trying to make his Last Stand & it won't work.
    Don't slack up now...over the top with Obama/Biden!!

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Dave g, Minneapolis

    I wouldn't call it a comeback, but there is a surge in the number of people signing up for the Libertarian party.

    That's one thing that the Republicans and Democrats have done this year, is to prove that they are not about doing anything new. Their failed policies have put us here, and they continue to create problems with more bailouts. Both parties are responsible and when we have a chance to vote for Bob Barr, why would we turn that down?

    People recognize that we don't want to keep expanding the government by transferring larger debt to our children. We don't want war, and we don't want to bailout companies that are doing poorly because of their own actions. The real terror now is that companies are deemed "too big to fail" and the Democrats and Republicans are over a barrel believing it. Then we Americans are held hostage by both the companies and the two parties that keep giving our money away.

    Barr '08!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Laverne

    What is this reverse psychology?

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Elliana - young professional for Obama

    If McCain/Palin can LIE, CHEAT TO STEAL THE ELECTION, naturally they see it as a great comeback. I will NEVER accept these morons victory. It will be a shame and slap in the face to all the good decent forward thinking Americans if McSame and Scary Pailin get to the white house... God help us all if dumb and dumber steal this election from the great people of the USA.

    October 31, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. brian

    Their blind persistence is ADORABLEEEEE.

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. deb in Colo

    Saying doesn't make it so.

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Smart Americans for Obama

    You can't predict your own comeback. Face the facts; more Americans do not agree with McCain's ideas than Obama's. We are also able to look past your negative ads and lies to see the truth. No more will America act like four year olds and believe you rumors to make us not focus on what matters. This Election is a wake up call to all politicians. Just tell America the truth and we will make our decision wisely.

    Obama/Biden 2008 & 2012

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Butch

    Rick speaks truth: "The greatest comeback since..." the last time there was a vote.

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Steve/Houston,TX



    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Bill Davis

    Pollsters & pundits, sorcerers & palm readers, .... it ain't over 'til it's over ... like she said: VOTE! ... we owe it to those who came before, we owe it to ourselves, ... but most of all, we owe it to our children.

    Ignore all polls & predictions. VOTE!

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. LJ in MD

    It has started:
    The Justice Department (which is 100% dedicated to keeping the Neocons safe) is sending hundreds of "observers" to mostly black, urban polling places and National Guard units have been put on alert.
    Do you THINK this is being done to protect citizens right to vote?
    Do you THINK they are there to guard against voter suppression?
    They are there to intimidate non-conservative voters and to quickly suppress any complaints voters might make against the stealing of this election.
    And if you think they care one tiny bit about it being wrong, you have not been paying attention for the past 8 years.
    Don't be intimidated.
    Vote! Vote! Vote!
    Vote! Vote!

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Judy from PA

    You bloggers use this arena to make yourselves feel better, but guess what, it is alot closer than you think. Seriously, who is on this blog? College students? People who aren't working? Why are you on in the middle of the day?

    Believe me, there are alot of people out here, who can't log on during the day because they are working hard or don't have a computer. And most of them are voting for McCain. And don't call them names or call them stupid. They are smarter than you. They don't fall for fancy words and rhetoric. They can see past it.

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. indepentent08 for obama/biden

    Mr Davis I don't know how much they are paying you to say that, but the only way this so call maverick (mccain) will win this election is by a way of fraud. To all of america that have read this statement or heard the video from ths statement, they are admiting that they are going to try to steal this election.

    Get out and VOTE

    JOE BIDEN 2008

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. paul from jersey

    You wish!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    What a loser!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. lisa


    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. obama mama


    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Heather from Seattle, WA



    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Barry Gregory

    Breaking News: New internal poll shows John McCain gaining ground with voters and might shock Obama and the world....

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. chicago way, yea


    GO VOTE!!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Hernandez. Achille

    John McCain needs to give away the race. It is impossible for him to reach the magic number. If Sen. McCain can give me a specific answer on how he will regulate wall street. He would have my vote on tuesday. He really completely out of touch especially for that beauty queen he bought into the race. Make me sick...!

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Carole

    REPUBLICANS STEAL.................and I am sure CNN and Campbell Brown won't let this post up!

    **So they are stealing another election?**

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. jeff

    It is amazing to me that the race is as close as it is considering the clear and obvious liberal bias of the mainstream media, including CNN. Just listen to Obama's "spiritual leader" (Obama's own words) and you will have a pretty good idea of what Obama really thinks. If Obama were white and his "spiritual leader" spewed the racist hatred that Reverend Wright spews, against minorities, CNN would tear him apart (and rightfully so). The mainstream media is shameless......."absolutely shameless"!

    October 31, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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