Republican strategists say John McCain won’t be able to get back on his feet without addressing the economy, Politico reports. While some want further emphasis on Barack Obama’s associations, there’s broad agreement the economy is what’s ailing McCain. “It's hard to imagine the voters thinking about anything else when the Dow Jones is dropping 500 points a day,” says one pollster.
No matter what approach McCain takes, everyone interviewed agreed he cannot continue as is: “If he doesn’t convince people to have a second look, it’s over,” says a Republican strategist. Voters may still have doubts about Obama, says a former McCain aide, but for the GOP to have any chance, “We have to offer an economic alternative.”