McCain Optimistic About Florida Outcome
By Michael D. Shear
Senior McCain advisers expressed optimism Monday about their chances in Florida, saying that they remain competitive despite a huge financial disadvantage.
"We understand that the Obama campaign has more staff and more offices and more money," said McCain political director Michael DuHaime, adding that he will take a "battle-tested" corps of volunteers any day.
"We have a program here that has proven effective," he said. "People have been there and done it in presidential elections."
DuHaime accused Obama of trying to "buy the election" and of trying to "get around" the public financing system. But he said that the Republicans have already demonstrated an edge in absentee ballots in spite of Obama's money.
Buzz Jacobs, who runs McCain's southeast region, said 295,000 Republicans have returned absentee ballots in Florida compared to only 199,000 for Democrats.
"We are essentially implementing the same successful program that Bush-Cheney used to win Florida in 2004," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said that the campaign has "about 80" offices in Florida and disputed the notion that Obama's well-funded voter turnout operation is better than McCain's.
Florida, he said, "week in and week out is one of our most successful Victory operations."
Posted at 5:22 PM ET on Oct 20, 2008
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