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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCain confident about Fla but in for fight



Sen. McCain is going to have to step up his effort in Florida, his campaign seemed to tacitly acknowledge this evening in a conference call with reporters. Political director Mike DuHaime noted that George W. Bush won the state but "he won it with a very aggressive campaign."

"It was not a state that anyone would have considered safe throughout the election. It was one that an aggressive campaign must be waged in," DuHaime said in response to a question about new polls showing Barack Obama up by as much as 8 points.

“Sen. Obama has spent an incredible amount of money in Florida over time, and throughout the summer we were not on the air. We’ve just been aggressively on the air for three to four weeks at this point."

By mid-September, Obama had invested about $8-million in the state. By the same time in 2004, the Bush-Cheney campaign had spent $13-million on Florida TV.

DuHaime went on: "Florida is always a state that’s always had, or at least in recent history, has had more Democrats than Republicans. So any state like that, of course, you have to wage an aggressive campaign to be successful. We feel confident about Florida."

One thing he did not say is that Florida will get more resources as McCain withdraws from Michigan. Staffers and other resources will be dispatched to Maine, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

McCain adviser Greg Strimple foreshadowed the campaign game plan. Noting the RNC took in $66-million in September he said:

"We are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days. We are looking to turn the page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans."


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:52am]


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