I know we're all supposed to be somber and work like we're 10 points down, but I don't know how else you can characterize this strategy, if it's accurate:
Most people top in the McCain campaign now believe New Mexico and Iowa are gone, that Barack Obama will win New Mexico and Iowa. They are now off the dream list of the McCain campaign. More interestingly, most top people inside the McCain campaign think Colorado is gone.
So they are now finishing with a very risky strategy. Win Florida. Win Nevada ... And here is the biggest risk of all -- yes they have to win North Carolina, yes they have to win Ohio, yes they have to win Virginia, trailing or dead-even in all those states right now. But they are betting Wolf on coming back and taking the state of Pennsylvania. It has become the critical state now in the McCain electoral scenario. And they are down 10, 12, and even 14 points in some polls there. But they say as Colorado, Iowa and other states drift away, they think they have to take a big state. 21 electoral votes in Pennsylvania, Wolf, watch that state over the next few weeks.
New Mexico and Iowa were always done; it's fine for McCain to concede those. But it doesn't leave him much of a path to victory, and giving up on Colorado leaves him with basically one path. The Upper Midwest is fine for Obama, and the Pacific Coast is fine. He's really sinking everything into Pennsylvania.
Despite polls showing him trailing Democrat Barack Obama by double digits in Pennsylvania, John McCain continued to treat the state as if the whole election depended on it. Yesterday, his wife, Cindy, made four stops in Philadelphia and Yardley, speaking at two rallies, visiting a hospital, and meeting the mothers of men and women in the military.
Today, the Republican nominee has three appearances in Pennsylvania, starting with a morning rally in Bensalem. He made two visits to the Philadelphia suburbs last week, and running mate Sarah Palin was in Lancaster over the weekend.
"It sure doesn't sound like a campaign that's pulling up stakes," said Chris Borick, a political scientist and pollster at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.
All the McCain activity is happening in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 1.2 million, double from four years ago; where Obama, flush with cash, is outspending McCain on television by several orders of magnitude; and where the Democrats have an organizational advantage.
(Irrelevant note: I grew up in Bensalem)
And not only Pennsylvania. McCain has to in addition pull off wins in SEVEN states that are tight right now:
Nevada, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia
If he took Pennsylvania he could afford to lose one or maybe even two of those - but the idea that McCain's going to come back in Pennsylvania doesn't seem plausible. The polling is extremely static:
I'm just not seeing what makes Pennsylvania the firewall state, other than process of elimination. But perhaps it's this:
The state Republican Party filed an injunction Friday against Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes and ACORN, alleging a fair vote on Nov. 4 is impossible because of rampant voter fraud.
The injunction signals a step up in action against ACORN, which for weeks has been the recipient of attacks from the state GOP and John McCain's presidential campaign.
At a press conference in the Capitol, state GOP Chairman Bob Gleason Jr. said the sheer number of registrations submitted by ACORN has overwhelmed many county election offices and the state department has not provided the local bureaus with enough support.
"I am not confident we can trust the results of this election," Gleason said.
We all know this is absurd, completely absurd. But maybe it's the last thing McCain can cling to. Consider that:
• Pennsylvania does not have early voting, and absentee voting is restricted. • Unlike Minnesota and Wisconsin, Pennsylvania doesn't have same-day registration.
So voting is concentrated on Election Day, and the state GOP is trying to make the election illegitimate.
Not much of a glimmer, but perhaps all they've got.