McCain going for broke in Pennsylvania?

So says the Washington Times.

“He’s 13 points behind in the state polls, Obama’s outspending him 4-to-1, Obama has a huge field organization that he can’t begin to touch, and the race hasn’t tightened in a week. Did I miss anything?” said Terry Madonna, director of Pennsylvania’s Franklin & Marshall College Poll…

One of [McCain’s] senior advisers said recently that not all is lost in Pennsylvania.

“We’re seeing very different poll numbers,” the adviser said. “We’re not seeing double digits; we think it’s much closer.”

An aide on the ground in the state, meanwhile, said internal polls show Mr. Obama’s lead in the “mid- to low single digits.”…

But Mr. Madonna said time is running out for the Republican. “I thought all along that if he could get it into single digits this week, he had a chance. He hasn’t. They say his internal polls show him better than our state polls, but wait a minute. What that means is that every single poll – every single poll – done in the last couple weeks is wrong. That can’t be,” he said with a laugh.

Yeah, every poll this month except one has Obama by double digits, and the one outlier has him by eight. Here’s the RCP map. If you give Maverick every last toss-up state (in gray), he’s still behind 286-252. Your task: Flip 18 EVs from blue to red, then scroll down for my take.

He could do it by taking Virginia and Colorado, but (a) Colorado may or may not be a lost cause, and (b) I think TNR’s right that with so many toss-ups to defend and the Democrats with an almost $40 million cash advantage (and growing), he’s probably better off concentrating on one state that can get him those extra 18 EVs rather than spreading out across the country and dividing resources among several. If he wins Pennsylvania, he can lose both states I mentioned and still win the election. As the Times notes, late deciders and rural white voters broke hard for Hillary there so a full push into the state is bound to do some good. But if that’s the strategy, what’s Palin doing out in Colorado Springs? She should be touring the toss-ups to try to keep them red while McCain sets up shop in Murtha country for the next two weeks. The one strategy that doesn’t make sense to me is to divide time between Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado. It hedges your bets, but those bets are necessarily smaller in each case when you really need to be betting big now.

FYI, the last time Maverick led in any poll in Pennsylvania was late April. Exit quotation: “I get the appeal of trying to win one state (Pa.) rather than having to run the table on a lot of little ones (Nevada, Colorado, Iowa …), but this is the equivalent of Kerry deciding it would be easier to just stage a comeback in Texas.”

Update: If you’re looking for national polls, take your pick: GWU says Obama by one, Zogby says Obama by eight.

Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET