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McCain is Not Giving Up California

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California is still very much in play for this 2008 presidential race, Republicans be damned. McCain does not plan on conceding the state that carries the most electoral points. Will he win CA? Not likely. Is it possible? It’s not impossible. Our own Governorthinks it’s possible. But this won’t be your typical Republican campaign run by the Republican machine that was successful in the past (the same one that concedes California from the beginning). Here’s a few key twists thrown into the 2008 Republican campaign:

Twist #1: The mere fact that McCain is competing for California is the biggest indication of a new Republican campaign, one that Democrats will laugh at—until they realize they’re spending more money in California than they’ve ever had to before.

Twist #2: McCain announced today that he will not be waiting to see whether his Democratic opponent will accept public financing; he will be signing the dotted line for $84 million in the general election, which may be only a fraction of what the Democratic candidate can fundraise privately. Accepting public financing isn't new but the coordinated effort between McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee has resulted in new state-level funds. These clever new legal entities allow one individual's $70,000 donation (yep, that's now legal) to be split three ways: the official McCain campaign ($2,300 max), the Republican National Committee ($28,500 max), and state 'Victory Funds' established to help funnel money into key states ($10,000 max per state), including four battleground states that don't have strong local fundraising (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico) and three 'biggie' states, including Ohio, Florida, and our great state of California.

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Twist #3: McCain began his weeklong "Time for Action" tour yesterday in Selma, Alabama, and will make stops in poverty-stricken towns in Ohio, Kentucky, and New Orleans--not your typical Republican strongholds. The purpose of the Tour will be clear from the rhetoric of his speeches: speeches in Obamaese, like Monday's, means the Tour was merely an effort to win over Independents (who want to see McCain at least reach out to these voters) but speeches with specifics of how to overcome the severe poverty he is showcasing will mean McCain is genuinely reaching out to the "forgotten" voters.

Twist #4: During the Tour and after, McCain will be continuing his town hall meetings. Whether the reason for use of this tactic is for McCain to practice his performance art doesn't matter; he could be doing one-handed cartwheels on stage as long as he was holding a microphone and explaining his foreign policy. Compare this to the large, impersonal political rallies of the Democrats: who's really running the grassroots campaign?

Photo by RBerteigvia Flickr