Polls Close, Outcome Begins to Show Early

McCain Continues Pushing, Confident Attitude

Howard University News Service

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. injected a bit of humor in his last public speech in Junction, Colo. Tuesday night as he wound down his campaign in Grand Junction, Colo.

Thanking supporters who reached across the aisle, like Sen. Lindsay Graham, D-SC, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Sen. McCain said, “You know, it’s funny. We got Joe the Plumber, Joe Lieberman. That’s great,” he laughed. “And then we got Joe the Biden. Well, you can’t be perfect, my friends.”

He recounted his past, recognized many of his personal and fraternal supporters the campaign, and said he is beginning to feel the momentum.

“I feel it and you feel it and we’re going to win this election. We’re going to win it and we’re going to — we’re going to win it right here in the state of Colorado,” McCain said to the large crowd.

He continued to laugh and smile, recalling how his running mate Sarah Palin calls her husband “first dude,” and gave shout outs to all of the ‘something-or-other for McCain’ groups in the audience. “We’ve got to turn out our vote and we’re going to be up late tonight,” he said. And you know, some of the the pundits have written us off; they may not know it, but the Mac is back.”

Although a Gallup poll says that his opponent, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, is up by 13 percentage points among registered voters, McCain sounded off the early victory bells with an article in the Wall Street Journal that restated his confidence that he could mount another comeback.

“When I am president, I will not offer up unconditional summit meetings with dangerous dictators,” he said. “Nor will I foreclose diplomatic tools that serve our interests.”

McCain talked about his opposition to Obama’s tax plan, approach to the war and so-called socialist policies of spreading wealth. After a 12-month long attempt to win over independent women voters by, first, enlisting Alaska Gov. Palin, McCain couldn’t grab all of the independent voters he needed.

A registered independent voter in Virginia, a state considered a battleground in the election, said he didn’t like either candidate. Not wanting to be named, he said he voted because he is a patriot. He said he believed that McCain was too old to be the nation’s leader.

He was put off by what he called Obama’s socialist ideas, pointing mainly to his disgust for Obama’s plans to spread wealth among all Americans.

“The pundits have written us off, just like they’ve done before,” McCain told voters as he jetted across the nation before ending his campaign with a rally in his home state of Arizona.

Polls show McCain trailing Obama nationally, but the Illinois senator’s lead was so narrow in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana that many analysts saw the race as too close to call. McCain is counting on upsets in such states to give him victory today.

As he campaigned in Indiana and other battleground states, McCain sought to paint Obama as a poster boy for inexperience and bad judgment, citing Obama’s tax plan and his position on the Iraq war.

Part of McCain’s strategy has also been to warn voters that with Obama as president, Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and Sen. Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader, Democrats would have too much power in Congress.

“My opponent is working out the details with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid of their plans to raise your taxes, increase spending, and concede defeat in Iraq,” McCain said at an Ohio rally before the weekend. “He’s measuring the drapes, and he gave his first address to the nation before the election, and this week he’s settled on a chief of staff. We’ve been a few points down, but we’re coming back.”

McCain has received celebrity support from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is also hoping for a boost from support from Florida Sen. Mel Martinez.

Campaigning for McCain, Martinez said “leadership of our nation cannot be left to the untried and untested.”

McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin, criticized what she said is the Obama-Biden ticket’s agenda to raise taxes and increase regulation.