Time is likening the embattled John McCain campaign to the end days of the Rudy Giuliani campaign, and asks if it can be turned around.

“John McCain’s top field general, Mike DuHaime, has been here before. Just 10 months ago, he was managing the ill-fated Rudy Giuliani campaign for President, fending off daily questions about declining poll numbers and dimming prospects. As the data went south, DuHaime never soured in his public predictions.”

He’s now recycling the language, this time about McCain.

“We feel good about things,” DuHaime told reporters late last week in a conference call after the McCain campaign decided to dismantle its Michigan operation, where it trails Barack Obama in the polls. He said he remained “confident” about a Florida win by McCain, not to mention a Republican victory in once reliable states like Virginia and North Carolina.”

“If DuHaime is to be taken at his word, he counts himself among a dwindling handful of Republican strategists who feel either “confident” or “good” about the current state of the race. Over the course of two weeks, as the financial crisis and faltering economy have taken center stage, the electoral map has shifted sharply away from McCain and toward Obama. States won by President George W. Bush in 2004 that seemed to be trending Republican after the convention, like Ohio, Florida and Virginia, are now shifting back to Obama in public polls. Other Bush states, like New Mexico and Iowa, appear to have moved safely into the Obama column. In recent days, party leaders in Florida and Virginia have voiced their concern about the trajectory of the race in their states, while Michigan activists voiced bewilderment and frustration that McCain was already giving up on the battleground state.”

Read the full story here.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey