Just got off a McCain campaign conference call on the “state of the race” with senior advisor Greg Strimple and Mike DuHaime, the political director.
Here were the main points:
— They confirmed that the McCain campaign will be pulling ads out of Michigan and scaling back operations in the state. They will shift resources to Maine where the electoral votes are split. Keep in mind, though, that Michigan has 17 electoral votes and Maine only has four.
— Said they were tied and ahead in traditionally Republican states such as Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and Florida. Obama will have a tough time here because of his inexperience and “aggressively liberal” voting record. Also noted that Obama was far behind in red states he hoped to compete in, such as Georgia and Montana, and will have to pull out.
— Said that their strategy was to have Obama expend vast resources earlier in the race so the McCain campaign could step up spending down the stretch. Said the RNC raised $66 million last month, which was the highest total in eight years.
— Said they would be competing in large blue states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, which Obama realized he could not take for granted.
— Reported encouraging trends in absentee ballot requests among their voters in Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.