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GOP Doubts Grow: Romney, Pawlenty Sound Skeptical October 28, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain.
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MIKE GLOVER and NEDRA PICKLER | October 28, 2008 09:56 PM EST | AP

(partial article)

HERSHEY, Pa. — Doubts about John McCain’s chances for the presidency grew louder among fellow Republicans on Tuesday as a White House race largely focused on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania entered its final week.

Even two Republicans once on McCain’s short list for vice president sounded skeptical. In a fundraising e-mail on behalf of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Mitt Romney referred to “the very real possibility of an Obama presidency.” In the Midwest, Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a dour assessment of McCain’s chances in his state, saying Barack Obama “has a pretty good advantage in Minnesota right now.”

Nationally, a poll by the Pew Research Center found Obama with a 16-point lead among registered voters. The survey said Obama had 52 percent and McCain 36 percent, with independent voters supporting the Democrat by a 48-31 margin.

The Nielsen media company reported that both are focusing about three-fourths of their advertising in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama, who had been spending four times as much as McCain on advertising, is now airing only twice as many ads as his rival, the ratings company said.

Those three states are battlegrounds, offering a combined 68 electoral votes on Election Day.

The concentration of firepower comes even as Obama mounts a national advertising campaign that will culminate Wednesday evening with a 30-minute, prime-time commercial on network television. The candidates also planned appearances on cable TV talk shows, including Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

The candidates kicked off their final week of campaigning in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, which hasn’t supported a Republican presidential candidate in 20 years and where Obama is ahead in the polls. McCain is working for an upset and has Pennsylvania as the linchpin to his victory strategy.

“I’m not afraid of the fight, I’m ready for it,” McCain told noisy supporters at a rally in this Republican region and home of the world’s largest chocolate factory.

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