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. AM in VA

    Brush up that resume Rick. I'm sure there will be a need for a dirty low-ball campaign manager somewhere. Maybe head of advertising for Exxon-Mobil or Halliburton?

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

    yes...keep threatening close race! That makes the Obama Voters relentless! We LOVE IT!! Keep it coming. I smell the sweet scent of V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!!!

    Go Obama/Biden/Clinton!!

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Babs

    Isn't this the guy who said McCain won the debates BEFORE they ended??

    Rick, keep arranging those deck chairs on the Titanic.

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Arnold

    Please don't listen to Rick Davis, they have been loosing this race and there is no way they can win unless the CHEAT somehow. Please look out for thier scams. They are trying to downplay the youth vote saying they haven't turn up at the poles, but we all know this is an Historic election and we all want to be a part of it. Please get out and vote so there will be no way they can dispute the outcome.

    The Change We Need!

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Rob indetroit

    The only way MCbush win's is we have another 2000,
    people today are not going to let that happen.


    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Obvious

    How cute.

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Meghan

    Yeah right! No way...this is our year. This is the people's moment! It'll only be a comeback if the corrupt republican party somehow rigs the election!

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. marc

    Don't be misled. I have to give the American people more credit than that.

    Obama – Biden landslide victory

    October 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Brain Power

    It's hard to give up power, but that's what this country is about. The same blue wave that hit Congress in 2006 will hit the White House in 2008. We are determined to take our country back from all buffoons.
    Oh, let me be nice, all McCain and Palin supporters who want to keep the Bush policies and watch our country sink deeper in the ground.

    All American kids–black, white, hispanic, asian, indian, muslim, arab, etc have the right to grow up and lead this country some day. Stop the divisiveness.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Sonja

    Give me a break! Regular Americans are sick and tired of politics like McCain/Palin – why do you think McCain campaign had to bus 4000 students to a McCain rally in Florida on Thursday that had an estimated total of 6000? The Republicans need to step back and reorganize after the election and realize that a NEW HUGE group of voters is now voting, a new generation and we are not going to be manipulated and lied to like voters of the past have been.
    You wanted the youth to rock the vote Well WATCH OUT HERE WE COME AND WE ARE GOING TO ROCK YOUR WORLD!!

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Javier Oberti - Fort Lauderdale

    The silent majority will speak on Tuesday. They will say not to socialism. They will say no to national welfare. They will say no to the empty suit named Barack Obama.

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Alex

    Really...okay here is your come back mccain... Today gall up traditional: 51 to 43. Expanded Model: 52 to 43.. and Registered Voters: 52 to 41... So you are saying you going to make up ummm 11 points in now 3 1/2 days...

    I don't care about expanded and traditional model. What I am looking at is registered voters numbers. That's important because that's what I used since the primaries... I was jumping up and down when we reached +8 for Obama, now I am seeing +11....

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Brian

    Please please please young people, old people, middle aged people, PLEASE VOTE! The MCCain campaign is counting on low-turnout by youth and black votes to win in their narrow victory strategy. PLEASE vote. Skip school, play sick, do whatever you have to do to vote. Stand in line, bring a book, your iPod, you patience and please let's close the deal for Barack. I am confident in Obama's ground game but we all know that the Republicans are very good at getting the vote out as well. Witness their 72-hr strategy over the past two elections that produced 2 narrow victories. Let's show everyone that we Dems and crossover Republicans (thank you by the way), can turn out too. If young people, black people and others do not turn out in the swings like VA, NC, OH, FL, CO, NV, PA and MO, then we lose. Very simple. Please vote early if you can so that you can help others on election day by giving rides, knocking on doors, making phone calls, etc. Ok, I have go on long enough, but PLEASE PLEASE VOTE! (I would, as an American, tell The GOP members to vote, but they don't need any convincing or prodding). Low turnout= President McCain and soon after that President Palin. :-/

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. amber ovalle

    Denial, denial, denial....all the negativity has led to their demise. Can't wait till Tuesday. Really looking forward to ushering in a new era with OBAMA.

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Otito-Koro

    As they say in my culture, "oko nleri,obo nleri, Ipade dori bedi". Meaning, let us keep u braging, Tuesday is the D-Day. Please people, go OUT and Vote NOW and tell others to do same.

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    That pic of Rick Davis looks like an SNL Parody (Will Ferrell plays Rick), much like the caricature of itself that McCain's campaign has become.

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. CR in WI

    Rick Davis accepted monies to influence John McCain from Fannie and Freddie.
    Another of the whoopsies of the McCain campaign.
    These guys can't get one plumber to a rally and they want to manage the best country in the world? Thanks but no thanks.

    Bushes tax policy got us 760k fewer jobs, and a $10 trillion deficeit. McCain want to continue them, and says that it will create jobs. Sorry, but we've been paying attention sir, and your bologna has gone putrid.


    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. ay from ohio

    hahahhahahahahhah......i cant stop laughing. go take a nap

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |




    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Educated & Employed

    Remember Reagans comeback!

    Obama supporters are nervous, in comments, they are shouting: "call everyone you know...email everyone...give rides to polls...etc..."

    Hey McCain (you are a GREAT hero), you will do this.

    Obama is so concerned, he had to make an infomercial, we all know that once you head down the road of infomercials, NEXT comes the psychic network, then you vanish into obscurity.

    McCain, you are gaining traction, I witnessed as two Obama lawn signs were switched out after Obamas arrogant infomercial, I gave an undecided voter a McCain sign that proudly stands in her yard. (she made up her mind after his infomercial).

    Senator McCain, hold your head high and make us proud, we are ready to call you Mr. President.

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Commonwealth of Virginia

    These guys are dillusional.


    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. HENRY

    Mr Davis..Get over it!!! Obama is going to win!!! PERIOD!!! FINAL END OF STORY!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Michael in San Diego

    Spouting these fairy tales is only motivating us (Obama voters) to get to the polls to make sure they don't come true!

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. mitch

    yeah,right. you been so right all along rick davis. [lobbyist extraordinaire] this guy will never be hired to run a campaign again ,after the disaster hes presided over so far. but, for davis, he can always go right back to lobbying for freddie and fannie.

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    Yeah, Right.
    Like that is going to happen!

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14