McCain's Down, But Not Out

History shows that McCain can surge
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., makes a point as Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., listens during a town hall-style presidential debate.   (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)
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(Newser) – With Obama pulling well ahead of the Straight Talk Express, "the 2008 campaign seems poised to enter its Harry Truman phase," writes Walter Shapiro in Salon. But a November comeback isn’t out of the question. Shapiro runs down four factors that could push McCain into the White House:

  1. The elastic electorate: There are likely more “undecideds” out there than polls show. Plus, "it is ludicrous to believe that public opinion will be frozen in amber" for the next 3 weeks.

  1. A game-changing event: Sure, it's tacky to speculate, but a new attack or even the threat of one from al-Qaeda could push voters toward McCain.
  2. A "Maverick" move: Past gambles (suspending his campaign, Sarah “you betcha” Palin) haven’t provided bounce, but something drastic, like a full repudiation of Bush’s presidency, could change minds.
  3. Dropping Iowa, and his hubris: McCain needs to cede states he can’t win and concentrate on states where he still has a chance.