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. d

    That will be the worst thing that could happen to us. No more Bush like policies

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. dj

    such a dufus. only the red sox can make comebacks

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. hah

    The only way McCain can make a comeback is if they rig the electronic machines. Maybe that's why they're so confident?

    OBAMA 08

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. VA is finally blue!

    Rick "the Lobbyist" has lost his mind. My hats off to David Axelrod for running a clean, respectable, and a geniusly stunning campaign for President Obama. This thing is in the bag. The only closing you're doing is in red states that YOU HAVE TO WIN. Our 270 electoral votes are safe. We're now going for the kill.....

    Everyone....please vote. We need to keep fighting to the finish line.
    Let's put this sad pathetic excuse for a campaign out of it's missery.

    Go Obama/Biden..

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. barbara miller

    Momentum? That's rich! I keep logging in to see one or two more states on the electoral map turn yellow:) Any tiny little upswing you might be able to find.........might be due to a handful of folks buying into all the filth you are throwing out there. Pure filth! McCain's reputation is now tarnished forever – no apologies accepted down the road by the way.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Cj

    A Great Comeback???

    You mean another Great Stolen Election, don't you?

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Svanbasten, Atlanta

    This is what we call BLIND OPTIMISM – The last kicks of a dying horse.

    Fade Away McPain.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Grace

    For a minute I thought Rick Davis was being played by someone from SNL! He looks and sounds like a cartoon. GO OBAMA!!

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Cheatin Time

    They still have confidence because they plan on cheating. Just like in 2000 when news stations starting reporting that Gore won FL, they called the Bush campaign, and they said, NO, this can not be correct. A few hours later, Gov. Jebb Bush returned to FL via private jet (he was chilling with brother W in TX) and the results began to change.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. denise nc

    is this guy nuts. he is spreading hate all over the place mccain is trying to win by disgusting tactics. is he on drugs???? mccain, palin and davis are so very mean. disgusting they are trying to win by spreading hate and division he should be fired

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Jim Schimmer

    Republicans just know McFEAR!



    CNN POST THIS... Please!!

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. larrylegend

    That's why the Dems don't need to be complacent, get out the vote, and take nothing for granted. Let's show the ol' geeser that "the lights are dimming."

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. John S

    Yeah right. In your dreams maybe.
    Mcacin wins this, then the election process in the USA is nothing but a joke. You want to see a revolution in America? Then let see McCain win this and see what happens. Another civil war would break out.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. urbantexan

    Yeah stealing it.... I don't believe your weasal looking behind.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. hipmom

    Economy? What bad economy? Guess what, nothing's accumulative! As long as I have money and 7 houses, then everything's fine! We've shaken off the effects of the financial collapse, so the voters should have, too!

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Clare, Orlando, FL

    Stop telling the lies. Obama by a landslide.....no one ever polls the Black and Latino vote. We r with Obama because we want to UNITE USA, not divide. We are all one America!

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. liz

    Has anyone told him that "comeback" does not mean throwing away poor people's ballots or distributing pamphlets that tell people Democrats are supposed to vote on Nov 5??

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Arthur James

    I'm so sick of all these polls; I'd love to see them proved wrong.

    They don't help – endless predictions just discourage voters, as if things are already in the can.

    But they're not until the REAL votes are counted.

    A few more days and we can all get back to our real lives.

    October 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. eugene

    I just heard thru the grapvine that the republican party lead by karl rove is planning to steal 12 million votes on tuesday,because they know the media is going to say it was the bradley effect,the people who runs those debo voting machines is run by the republican party,in those machines is going to control 2/3 of the votes,obama should win this election by 53% to 45%,but the result on tuesday is going to be mccain 49% obama 48%,this is what i have heard,this guy who told me this knows someone who works for the debo company.should i notify the obama camp of this before its to late?

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    lies, lies, and more lies...can these republicans get a grip of anything at all?...geez....pls let Mike Ditka and Gov. Palin go home...

    Obama/Biden 08


    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. sensible Cape Coral FL

    OH Happy Day! (in your dreams)

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    WOW......... is this guy for REAL?

    OR.......maybe Rick Davis knows that Republicans WILL STEAL the election just like they did in 2000!

    PLEASE everyone, including you, College students GO VOTE!

    And College students, dragged your friends along! We can not afford another four years a failed Republican policies!


    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. inat2

    Al queda wants America to "humiliate Bush and his party".

    should we take Al queda's endorsment of obama seriously?

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Michael

    It's not a slam dunk for Obama, by any means. There have been upsets in the past.

    But not this time. There's a palpable sense of hope in the air... you can almost taste it. More than at any time in over forty years, the world needs and craves change. And Barack Obama is the one to bring it. He's intelligent, thoughtful, even-tempered, unflappable, he listens to others, and he's not strait-jacketed by old orthodoxy. He's the leader for the future. He has the potential to be a revolutionary and iconic leader, not only of America, but of the world. All he needs, America, is your trust, your faith, and your vote. With those behind him, the future is limitless.

    "There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
    - Victor Hugo

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Josh

    Um, also Rick Davis, national polling doesn't matter, electoral votes does. And right now Barack Obama would literally have to lose Virginia, Pennyslvania, Ohio, Florida and Colorado if McCain is to win, and Obama's leading in all those states.

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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