McCain and Palin stumping hard

In the last eight days John McCain and Sarah Palin have ramped it up.

Published November 3, 2008 8:02PM (EST)

I don't know if John McCain and Sarah Palin think they still have a chance to win the election tomorrow. I don't know if Palin is, at this point, even hoping they will win. I don't know if campaign stops in this, the last week, will even make a difference in the final outcome, though surely they cannot hurt.

But I do know that, after initially watching Barack Obama and Joe Biden run circles around them -- McCain and Palin completed just 55 stops during the first three weeks after the national conventions to 95 for Obama and Biden -- McCain and Palin have ramped up their efforts in the closing days.

In fact, if you go to CNN election tracker site's "candidate visit" link, and you set it for both candidates in both parties over the past seven days, and add in today's planned campaign stops, it's about even. To be precise, the total stops are 32 to 30 for McCain-Palin over Obama-Biden. Even if the handful of stops to the home or nonswing states of Arizona, Delaware, Illinois and New York are removed (and Arizona is in play, but obviously McCain has to return there tonight, by tradition), it's still a two-visit lead for McCain-Palin.

I also have to say that although their themes range between the petty and the dreadful, they at least have a concise, clear closing message, which roughly translates to, "Beware of the scary black-but-really-green liberal running as the Democratic nominee."

P.S. I also noticed from MSNBC coverage of their campaign stops that Palin and the "First Dude" are wearing jeans today. So "real America" of them!

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin