Strategists chart final weeks of campaign

Oct. 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- John McCain needs to go on offense and Barack Obama can't get complacent in the final weeks of the U.S. presidential race, top party strategists said Sunday.

Republican strategist Mike Murphy said on NBC's "Meet the Press" he fears the Arizona Republican senator's "barn is on fire" and he's spending too much time shoring up supports in states such as North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

"You don't want to fight the close war on your turf; you want to be on offense taking a Wisconsin or formerly a Michigan or a Pennsylvania away from the other side," Murphy said. "I think McCain can win, but the fact is if the election were held today, he'd lose, and I think he's on a losing path."

Democratic strategist Paul Begala said the Obama campaign needs to go "into places where Democrats used to never dare go."

"Indiana -- I can't believe we're sitting here 30 days before an election talking about Indiana, a potential tossup state? Or North Carolina and Virginia? Barack Obama would be the first non-Southerner from our party to carry a Southern state since (John F. Kennedy), before I was born, before Barack was born," Begala said, adding "but he's got to keep pushing his advantage here."

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