John McCain’s campaign manager laid out a come-from-behind-victory scenario late Sunday evening as the campaign prepared for a seven-state, 18-hour cross-country swing.
Although a number of national polls, including the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, give Barack Obama a sizable lead, Rick Davis, a longtime McCain confidante who carried him through the primaries, told reporters that the campaign has many routes on the electoral map to the magic number of 270 electoral college votes.
Davis dismissed scenarios that rested on winning a specific state, like Virginia or Florida, and said that recent polling in the West, which shows Obama’s double-digit leads shrinking, has given the campaign considerable hope. “If we can win Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, all of the sudden we’ve got a whole new pathway to victory,” Davis said. “Those weren’t even on the list three weeks ago,” he said.
The linchpin will be undecided voters, which the McCain campaign believes are largely white, lean towards the middle of the political spectrum and live outside of urban areas—from the suburbs to the rural parts of the state.
“If Barack Obama hasn’t closed the deal with them after, you know, two years in the campaign and a year as the nominee of their party, maybe they’re holding out for a good reason,” Davis said.
The McCain campaign’s pollster, Bill McInturff, said a record voter turnout of 130 million people is possible. If turnout drops below that level, it will likely be undecideds who stayed home, Davis said. “But if it goes over, you’ll know that they came out and there’s a good chance for us to win.”