HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — I’m here at Hofstra University, the site of the final presidential debate, and just had the chance to speak with Mike DuHaime, political director for the McCain campaign.
He had the following to say:
On what 2004 Kerry states the McCain campaign still feels it can flip this year: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and the split electoral vote from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
On why McCain has poured so much money into Iowa and Minnesota even though polls don’t give McCain much of a chance: “They are states that are historically close,” DuHaime said. Also, he said the campaign’s internal polls show the race in those states to be narrower than the public polls suggest.
On which Bush 2004 states they feel most comfortable in, and which they feel will be most difficult: He said they would be best positioned in the traditional Republican states of Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Virgina, and Florida. He said the Democratic registration advantage would make New Mexico difficult, and he also described Colorado and Nevada as “tough states” that would be decided by a few points either way.
On whether McCain should make the case for divided government in the closing weeks: “I think it resonates with some people; I don’t think it’s a macro argument,” he said. He went on to explain that Obama’s recent comments to a plumber in Ohio that he wants to use the tax code to “spread the wealth” makes the prospect of unified Democratic government especially frightening. “I think that should alarm some people,” DuHaime said. “Having that kind of philosophy about government and then having Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in charge of both houses of Congress, that should be scary.”
On conservatives who have problems with McCain’s recent populist proposals on government renegotiation of mortgages to prevent foreclosures: “For economic conservatives it’s a no-brainer to be with McCain in terms of free market principles, lower taxes, halting spending.”