Sling­shot strat­egy

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

With an in­creas­ingly front-loaded pri­mary cal­en­dar, the big ques­tion for pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates is whether the first few states are more or less im­por­tant. Sen. John McCain’s cam­paign made clear it is bet­ting on more im­por­tant, re­ports Stephen Di­nan of The Wash­ing­ton Times.

In a memo to cam­paign work­ers on May 7, the chief strate­gist said the cost of ad­ver­tis­ing across the nearly 20 states that could have pri­maries Feb. 5 would be $16 mil­lion for just one week — a huge ex­pense for even the best-funded can­di­dates and an un­cer­tain one, given the na­ture of pri­mary vot­ers and cau­cus­go­ers.

“It is un­re­al­is­tic to ex­pect any of the cam­paigns to have suf­fi­cient re­sources to do what they would like to do in all of those states,” strate­gist John Weaver wrote in the memo.

The McCain folks think they are well-po­si­tioned to use the three early states of Iowa, New Hamp­shire and South Carolina to sling­shot into the Jan. 29 Florida con­test and then on to Feb. 5.

While for­mer New York Mayor Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani leads the na­tional polls, Mr. Weaver pointed to state-by-state polling, which he called “the key to un­der­stand­ing the real dy­namic of this race,” and said an av­er­age of polls con­ducted in April and May in those early states shows Mr. McCain lead­ing in each — by one per­cent­age point in Iowa, five per­cent­age points in New Hamp­shire and six per­cent­age points in South Carolina.

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