November 3rd, 2008
10:40 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain draws small Florida crowd on race’s final day

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/03/art.mccain2.gi.jpg caption=" McCain's first rally of the day was attended by only about 1,100 people."]
TAMPA, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama may lead John McCain by just 2 points in the latest CNN Florida poll of polls, but the enthusiasm gap appears a bit wider.

John McCain’s first rally of the day, in Tampa outside Raymond James Stadium, only drew about 1,100 people. Local reporters noting that at almost the same spot just before the 2004 election, President Bush drew about 15,000 people. Two weeks ago, Obama drew an estimated 8,000.

Republican Gov. Crist, who had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, bolted right after the rally with no explanation.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Used to believe in McCain

    I'm sorry Senator McCain after the poor judgement on picking Sarah Palin as your running mate and after seeing all the hatred that your campaing was spreading I make the painful decision to vote Obama, I stood for 3 hours and finally cast my vote. I lost the trust on you and the respect you are not the same McCain from 2001..

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Dr. Jones

    What a snapshot of the final hours for McCain...sadly he resists the common sense approach to unite all parties for the next transitorial step as there will soon be a new POTUS elect and America needs to be united to face these new challenges instead of playing pocket politics with Palin and his campaign along with the entire Republican brand. Unity...its time for change.

    Obama-Biden 08

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. JL

    Man I hope Obama wins!

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. PL

    Who wants to waste their time listening to lies???

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Sandra

    Good! People finally tuning out the "Hate Talk Express."

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. D Gross

    If McCain looses, Sarah Palin is to be blamed. It was poor choice on his part. We are all hockey moms so do we all fit to be presidents. For Christ sake, we talking about running a country.

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. dave harlow

    Cnn, you guys are he worst. you failed to mention that this was just a stop along the way and only planned a few hours before. How did you boys get through reporters school?

    November 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Pam

    Wow, the first rally of the day you'd think there would be more people. After all, old people get up early.

    November 3, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Phil in KC

    Crist bolted right after the rally. And several life-long Republicans have endorsed Obama. Sounds like rats deserting a sinking ship.

    November 3, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Nancy

    I don't doubt McCain is somewhat of a decent person. But the fact is, Obama would be a much better leader, and the people know it! He will now win PA, and it looks like other states are falling through also. He need to retire and send S. Palin back to the cold front – and her first "Dude".

    November 3, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Joey Solini of Phoenix, AZ

    It is a very sad day for McCain, I feel sorry for him like I felt for Dole in 94. I am a loyal Dem and still human,I wish him well. Hope he is able to go back to being a 'maverick' in the U.S Senate. McCain was such a good Liberal Repub at times, willing to work on a few bipartisan Senate bills. President Obama could sure use his 'maverick' leadership agasinst the ultra neocons and the far fight 'Palin Repubs' , those country last Repubs who would rather block Senate bills just to blame the Democrats as leaders of a do nothing Congress. Hope you stay in the Senate Mac.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Stu-Florida

    It's no wonder why Crist left. He couldn't stand behind the McCain at the podium with his little smirk anymore, Our state knows so much more now... Crist is as usless as balls on a butterfly...
    Flutter away, Crist

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Obama all the way....

    Why?- cause Palin wasn't there. No one likes McCain- they only like his right wing nut job running mate. And the old Repug men only like her for one reason- and I'll let you figure it out!

    Maybe he wasn't so mean and negative and had an actual message rather than just bashing Obama the whole time- people would come.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Bob Stephens

    McNastym the people have heard all your double talk, and hate mongering they can stand. Go back to Arizona and take Botox lady with you.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. To all Republican die-hards

    It's amazing to me that Republican die-hards still find it necessary to post vitriolic nonsense about Obama. It's tempting to respond with anger, but here's a better idea. How about we wait and see what happens when a true leader is at the helm of this nation. I travel a lot on business overseas and everywhere I go; Europe, Asia, South America, everyone is ecstatic about Obama. We are going to see a planetary change when this man moves into the White House. More cooperation, a greater chance for peace and reconciliation, solutions to problems that would NEVER arise with a Republican administration. You have no idea the DISDAIN with which Bush and McCain are held outside this country. And Palin? She is the laughingstock of the world. So if you are feeling uneasy about the LANDSLIDE victory for Obama and and the Dems in the House and Senate, please have patience. You are about to experience a renewal of hope; a world-changing, life-affirming change that will sweep the globe. The nightmare is over. Let the dream unfold.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. SuZanne in Oklahoma

    I agree that Palin garnering so much support from americans is disturbing. That the american citizens have nothing better to offer the world than John McCain and Sara Palin will be historical. Not only will this country sink farther economically, our position in the world would be devastated.

    If any McCain supporters have not voted yet, please, please think before you vote...think of your duty to rise America up not only here, but abroad more importantly...our country's future depends on it.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Don

    Maybe Bruce Springsteen will let the campaign use "Running on Empty" in their last few rallies.

    November 3, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Greg in MN

    "Republican Gov. Crist, who had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, bolted right after the rally with no explanation."

    This says it all. He is bolting to get a far away from McCain as possible. Just like the rest of the GOP.

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. drbyers

    John McCain isn't a bad man, down deep. He just chose a pathetic road to try and win the White House.

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Maine Journalist

    Ahh journalistic bias. If Obama had drawn this number of people I have a very strong feeling the story would read something like "a fired up crowd numbering over 1,000". Election season is over soon...thank god.

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Dakota

    I live in Tampa, McCain has no shot in the big cities, thats why he went to Sarasota and Palin was in Lakeland these past several days...They are reaching out to the Retires and Rednecks in our state. Not in Tampa though, as you can see, we are smart and strong and dont want to hear the fear card. Most have already voted or cant wait to vote tomorrow! As for Palin's medical records, they wont come out, that last child of hers isnt hers, its that simple, just like her.

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Obama..One True Leader

    Here is a list which was not addressed by either CNN or Fox News:

    McCain's speech @ ACORN headquaters ealier this yr praising them for their work…
    McCain, 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 a terrorist by your own admittance.
    McCains Involvement with G. Gordon Liddy- domestic terrorist (convicted of fraud), Cindy McCain (fraudently obtained prescription drugs), Charles Keating (convicted of fraud)
    McCains Involvement with New world order, radical black people killers, Sudanese extremist (genocide in Dafur)
    McCains Involvement with voters fraud through YPM. 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.
    McCain admitted recently on national TV that he “didn’t know her well at all” before he chose Palin
    Rick Davis is cashing $15,000 monthly checks from Fannie Mae.
    McCain voted against our troops MANY times in the senate.
    McCain voted AGAINST 20 million dollars for veteran care facilities.
    McCain voted AGAINST $322 million for safety equipment for our troops in Iraq.
    McCain voted AGAINST $1 billion dollars in new equipment for the National Guard.
    McCain OPPOSED Jim Webb's G.I. Bill.
    McCain voted AGAINST $430 million for veterans outpatient care.
    Your campaign advisor & "Transition Chief" William Timmons was a Saddam Hussein lobbyist for 5 years.
    McCain a member of "The Project for a New American Century" – a radical extremist terrorist organization.
    Todd Palin is a domestic terrorist in the Alaskan Independence Party.
    You have met with Chilean Dictator Pinochet, a terrorist.
    McCain and his team using Joe the Plumber the Fraud to insinuate that "Obama's Presidency will mean the death of Israel"..
    McCain has not allowed Sarah Palin as promised alone to do interview with LKL, if she is qualified to be a VP of USA?
    McCain, why is Sarah Palin’s windfall tax distribution to Alaskans not wealth distribution and “socialism”?
    McCain, are those checks from Bush Administration last May not wealth distribution and “socialism”?

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. 2pacolypse Now

    Wow, is this the best the GOP could roll out this year out of all the more qualified candidates, a borderline racial pot stirrer of innuendos and smears from someone who's NOT QUALIFIED apparently to be even governor of her own state with her own ethics issues. Miss Palin, there must be something about Alaska where corruption seems to be the norm and you've contracted that same disease as mayor and governor. The last day of the election you are quoting audio that's been online for the past 9 months for all to see and hear and judge and yet, that's all you have to offer for your running mate? You are fine example of what's wrong with the far right winged nutzo's in your party and why moderates, independents and Reagan Democrats have ditched your ticket. You have disgraced your party and made John McCain's lack of sound judgement picking you as disastrous to our national security and economic well being. Enjoy that flight back to Alaska. You may not find your homecoming as joyful as you think as your approval rating has gone down from 80% to currently 60% in a matter of three months.

    November 3, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. mav, FL

    Guess people don't want to hear 30 sec of substance and then 30 minutes of smears and negativity in McCain's rally speach. Americans are not that stupid as GOP would like to think. Move away negative and diving politics, give way to common sense politics. Change we need.

    Make your Vote count. Four hours of wait in voting line is no price to four years of pain. Go out and Vote.

    November 3, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. JC

    No explanation is needed from Gov. Crist; the handwriting is on the proverbial wall, and we can all wave a weary goodbye to Senator McCain and especially to the supremely unqualified Gov. Palin.....

    November 3, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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