In a bold move brimming with confidence, Democrat Barack Obama broadened his advertising campaign on Friday into two once reliably Republican states and further bedeviled rival John McCain by placing a commercial in the Republican presidential nominee‘s home state of Arizona.
By MIKE GLOVER and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writers
Obama’s campaign, capitalizing on his vast financial resources and a favorable political climate, announced that it was going back up with advertising in Georgia and North Dakota, two GOP states that it had teased with ads earlier in the general election campaign but then abandoned.
In what could be a final ignominy for McCain, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the campaign would also begin airing ads in Arizona, a state McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years. Plouffe said the race has tightened in Arizona, Georgia and North Dakota. A recent poll from McCain’s home state showed the two candidates in a statistical dead heat.
In a slew of states, “the die is being cast as we speak,” he said. “Sen. McCain on Election Day is not just going to have to carry the day, but carry it convincingly.”
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis derided Obama’s moves: “We encourage them to pick other states that we intend to win” to spend their money.
McCain was spending a second straight day touring economically ailing Ohio, a swing state with 20 electoral votes that McCain aides acknowledge is central to a victory on Tuesday. McCain was behind Obama in polls in the state.
While the Obama campaign continued to tie McCain to the unpopular President Bush, McCain assailed Obama’s economic policies as recipes from the far left of American politics.
McCain told a rally in Hanoverton, Ohio, that Obama “began his campaign in the liberal left lane of politics and has never left it. He’s more liberal than a senator who calls himself a socialist,” a reference to Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.
Campaigning with McCain was former GOP rival and one-time New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who told the crowd, “John McCain was right about the single most important decision that had to be made in the last four years and that was to stick it out in Iraq.”