McCain is in a shouting match against a man with a bull horn. Whatever McCain does in the final 25 days, it will not be enough to break through the noise unless his campaign finds a message that connects with voters. Timing is everything in politics, and McCain's campaign may have waited too long to play the Ayers, Rezko and Wright cards. These types of attacks do not work while voters are sweating the ups and downs of the economy and stock market.
So now what? If you are McCain? You must draw down ad buys in states you cannot win and focus on the states you must. Secondly, you need to find a message that connects with voters and their economic anxiety. You need a persuasive argument about how Obama would be worse for the already fragile economy. Anything less will not get the job done.
The big question for Obama is what to do with his 30 minutes of prime-time TV? I suspect it will be an epically produced closing argument that will rival those from the best courtroom TV dramas. This campaign is rewriting the rules on presidential campaign advertising.
Forget the Internet for now; this is a made-for-TV campaign!
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Evan Tracey is the founder and president of Campaign Media Analysis Group, a TNS Media Intelligence company. See his complete bio.