Roundtable on the Status of the Race

Roundtable on the Status of the Race

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume - October 17, 2008


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But for those of you who are getting a little cocky, who support he me and start reading the polls, I just got two words for you - "New Hampshire." Everybody thought we were going to win them in the primary. We were up ten in the polls the day before the election. We ended up losing.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-AZ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Stands up and fight! America is worth fighting for! Nothing is inevitable. We never give up! We never quit! We never hide from history. We make history. Now let's go win this election and get this country--


BAIER: A fired up John McCain and a cautious Barack Obama.

Here you see the electoral map--286 as the polls show it now, electoral votes for Obama, 155 for McCain.

And here's a quick look at the schedules. Obama's schedule over the next few days--Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida. McCain's schedule--Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, Ohio and Missouri.

Mort, let's start with you. What does this schedule tell you, and what does the map tell you about this race?

KONDRAKE: Well, the map says and the schedules tell us that Obama is ahead and McCain is behind, and he's behind even in red states that George Bush carried.

However, Obama is also right to say let's not forget about New Hampshire, let's not forget about Ohio or Pennsylvania or all those states that he lost to Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

You go down these states, in Ohio Obama has got 49 percent of the vote, Nevada, 49 percent, North Carolina, 48 percent, Missouri, 49 percent, Indiana, 45 percent, Florida, 49 percent. He is not over 50 percent in any of those states.

And he is ahead by three points, something like that. This thing could turn around.

He has a lot more money. He has a lot more field organization. But complacent, it would be crazy for Obama to be complacent.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: McCain is behind in these states because he's behind nationally. With a couple of exceptions, this is not regional weakness. If you're behind by, let's assume six or five nationally, what will happen is that Obama holds the marginal states.

And he is now in the field, as you read that list, of what ought to be McCain states.

One exemption, I think, is Florida, where it's particularly hard hit on the mortgage and foreclosure issue, and, secondly, with all of those retirees, the crash on the markets has really hurt them. So McCain is hit on these specific issues because of the economic tsunami in Florida, especially.

But generally, it's just a regional expression of a national problem.

BAIER: Fred, I know you're dying to wrap it up with Joe.

BARNES: I agree with that. Ohio is an important state--where Joe's from, Mort.

So here you have this poor little plumber who asks an innocent question, asks a very good question of Barack Obama, a man with tens of millions of dollars he's spending, and who does Mort side with? Who does he hammer? Poor Joe!

KONDRAKE: I'm not hammering Joe!

BARNES: The truth is Charles is right. When you're up by five, that puts you in a stronger position in all the marginal states, like Virginia and North Carolina.

BAIER: Bottom line, there is time for the McCain campaign.

BARNES: If McCain can move up nationally, he will win most of these red states.

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FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


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