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McCain Adviser Lays Out Strategy for Final Days

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was buoyant in his assessment of the state of the race as it enters its final weekend.

In a McCain campaign conference call today, Davis said he was “jazzed up” and assured reporters that “we are witnessing, I believe, probably one of the greatest comebacks since John McCain won the primary.”

Davis pushed back against recent questioning of the campaign’s continued pursuit of a win in Iowa — I believe “smoking crack” was one of the terms used by one prominent GOP strategist –despite many polls consistently showing Obama with a double-digit lead in the state. He said the campaign’s internal polling showed the race is “dead-even” in Iowa but did not elaborate. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is scheduled to appear Monday in Dubuque, Iowa.

He also rejected the notion that Palin is a drag on the ticket, citing the huge crowds at her rallies.

With some campaign officials accusing Sen. Barack Obama of attempting to buy the election in recent days, Davis bragged that Republicans have remained financially competitive.

“In the course of the general election period, since the end of our convention until today, the combined amount of spending between the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign, not counting any state dollars whatsoever, is $325 million. … When you are looking at all the various amounts of money spent in this campaign, you will be surprised to learn that we have been very competitive.”

Davis predicted that the McCain campaign is on track to outspend Obama on advertising by $10 million in the final week of the race. He also welcomed the news that the Obama campaign intends to ramp up advertising in previously uncontested states, including Arizona, North Dakota and Georgia.

“We encourage them to please pick other states that we intend to win, to spend their final campaign cash and spread it out as much as they can.”

Finally, Davis previewed McCain’s schedule for the final day of the campaign. He said McCain is slotted for a last visit to New Hampshire Sunday, the state that launched his primary comeback.

“We do plan to campaign pretty actively throughout the last 24 hours of the campaign. We will hit a little bit of a nostalgia tour Sunday night, where John will have a final New Hampshire event. … Monday [McCain will] hit seven different cities in seven different states before winding up in Phoenix, Ariz. for Election Day.”

As the Prescott [Ariz.] Daily Courier reported today, McCain plans one final campaign event Monday. According to the Yavapai County Republican Party Website, he will visit northern Arizona for an evening rally in Prescott, the heart of one of the state’s fastest-growing regions.

The Democrats, naturally, seized upon the report, sending out an email stating that McCain was “forced to campaign” in Arizona.

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