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McCain tries to steal Pennsylvania; Obama's poll numbers widen

(Page 2 of 2)

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, McCain political director Mike Duhaime recognized the challenge in Pennsylvania but said McCain resonates with independents.

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"Certainly, it's a state that a Republican hasn't won in 20 years," Duhaime said. "But we think Sen. McCain is the right candidate, with an appeal to independent voters. And certainly, the ability to get some crossover Democrats is what you need."


In the race toward the 270 electoral votes, Pennsylvania is key because other states that looked promising for McCain are no longer. They've conceded Michigan. New Mexico is now done. Colorado looks unlikely. Minnesota and Wisconsin seem unreachable.

The states that Bush won in 2004 are turning from red to pink to -- in the case of Virginia anyway -- blue.

North Carolina and Missouri -- usually red states -- are tied up. Obama enjoys an eight-point lead in Virginia.

Kerry and Texas

How daunting of a challenge is it? Politico's Mike Allen summed it up pretty well, recanting an email conversation he had with "the smartest Democrat [he] knows:

“I get the appeal of trying to win one state (Pa.) rather than having to run the table on a lot of little ones (Nevada, Colorado, Iowa …), but this is the equivalent of Kerry deciding it would be easier to just stage a comeback in Texas.”

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