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. malcolm

    In what reality are these people living? So, I guess polls are only relevant when they are favorable to your campaign. The chances of the McCain campaign winning in virtually all remaining battleground states and flipping an Obama leaning/blue state appears nearly impossible. There are far too many places to catch up for McCain. When you're defending your own home state, it's time to throw in the towel. Not even "Joe The Plumber"can save you on this one McCain.
    Obama/Biden 08

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


    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Arthur

    If he'd played fair and chosen a better running mate he wouldn't be in a comeback position...a very poorly run campaign and McCain does not represent the future of America, he represents the past...he is overwith...should go home and retire...may be a problem deciding which one of his homes to move to...better be a state that goes red...may not be Arizona...since Arizona's newest population has come from California (where McCain couldn't win dog catcher)...

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Terry

    Like they say, denial isn't just a river in Egypt....

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Bridgette-PA


    OBAMA/BIDEN -08!

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Steven

    It is very important that everyone votes!!! Failing campaigns are known for pushing out phony polls at the end of the campaign to encourage their voters to vote. But Rick Davis won't release his data support his wild claims. This means he is just making it up as he goes or the numbers are not a good as he claims them to be. When dozens of polls shows the opposite of what Mr. Davis is projecting, then he must show the data to prove it.

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. James

    Sorry Davis WRONG AGAIN.

    Vote Smart

    Vote Obama

    October 31, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Anthony


    only if they try to fix it.......again...

    OBAMA 08!!!

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Rich from Ohio

    what a jokke – just enough info to keep Republicans from being too depressed...

    Vote for HOPE, not HATE...Obama 08

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

    What are these people smoking? Perhaps a urinalysis should be required before you become a high level staffer in a political campaign.

    I understand that they can't just say "Well, we're way down in the polls but we're trying really hard", as that will make them look weak. But going the opposite direction and looking like you fell off the rally stage one too many times doesn't help you either.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. JohnWinNC

    See the Emperor's new clothes? They were spun of fine gold and are quite beautiful to behold. Only those of great importance, such as Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber, can see the exquisite outfits.

    Then, a small child says, "He's not wearing any clothes!"

    Sad, but true; McCain has now become the "celebrity," "empty suit, "man of no substance," "pal of terrorists,"socialist," "not ready to lead" and "that one."

    No matter what he says, he's lying about his "clothes."

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Clare, Orlando, FL

    STOP telling this Lie! Everyone has forgotten about the Latinos and the Blacks. We are standing together for change. We are coming out in numbers to help Barack unite the Our America. We are all one nation under GOD. UNITE PEOPLE! We are apart of the rainbow.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |

    Speaking of a motivation for the Democrats.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Jerry

    Wishful thinking?

    Ok, if polls are inaccurate, do you think Obama is going to win Texas? Or Louisiana?

    No, I didn't think so.

    Polls, apparently, are inaccurate only when they show you are losing.

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

    Senator McCain you are no hero, you are in fact a terrorist.

    Your campaign advisor & "Transition Chief" William Timmons was a Saddam Hussein lobbyist for 5 years.
    You pal around with Gordon Liddy, domestic terrorist.
    You are a member of "The Project for a New American Century" – a radical extremist terrorist organization.
    Your VP candidate's husband Todd Palin is a domestic terrorist in the Alaskan Independence Party.
    You accuse Obama of knowing Rashid Khalidi, yet you yourself have given Rashid Khalidi & the PLO $500,000.00!!! So by your logic, if Obama is a terrorist sympathizer like you claim, then you Senator McCain are a state sponsor of terrorism. You are, by your own twisted logic, a terrorist by your own admittance.
    You have met with Chilean Dictator Pinochet, a terrorist.
    You're coordinated effort to use FOX NEWS, the Bush Administration, your campaign, Sarah Palin, and The Justice Department to commit voter fraud, voter intimidation, & voter suppression is an act of terrorism.

    John McCain you are a disgrace to your uniform, yourself, & to your country.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Donna S

    no wonder they don't understand the econmy – they don't understand simple math.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. sabuc for Obama

    This coming from the party that foretold our quick and easy victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, said we'd be treated as liberators, said that the oil would pay for the wars, and knew where the WMDs were hidden?!?

    If McCain wins it will mean a hat trick of Stolen elections by the GOP.


    Vote early and help everyone go to sleep early and happy come Tuesday night.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Rev Melvin Johnson

    I guess if they keep telling themselves that they will win. However, most people I know of all races want serious change and they are voting for Senator Obama in the Delaware, Pennslyvania and New Jersey area.

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. rk

    the only way he wins is if we repeat florida 2000! Idiots! the judges are already in place in the supreme court, all the repugnicants need to do is be within 100000 votes behind to win the state. Bush should know!

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Dee

    Sorry but he reminds me of Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" Character from SNL....

    "Hmmm...he looks like someone...now who is it?....I don't know....is it?....SATAN"

    October 31, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Irma in North Carolina

    Hey every one lets hope that God sees to it that it is task of God ( as Sarah would say) to let them two loose this election. The funny thing would be if Mccain lost his home state. Of course Cindy with all her money could by the state off. I think she is already put some money in there. The Mccain camp said they were low on Money and now on Monday they say they are going to outspend Obama. And if the Mccain camp is predicting one of the greatest come backs you know darn well they have something rigged up to win this election.

    October 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Bryce

    keep dreaming Rick.

    October 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. ohio voter

    hahahahaha. I guess Miss Cleo charged him 1.99 for that prediction

    October 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Brendan

    How about Gallup poll

    43 McCain
    Likely voters

    Or Tran Likely Voters
    51 Obama

    Also obama is winning out of the margin or error is tied with McCain.

    Tied my.....

    Obama 08!

    October 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Kathlynn

    Besides, when you have the proven ability to manipulate the voting machines and only count the ballots you want, you can always stage a huge comeback!

    October 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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