Some say time is running out for McCain, even in Utah

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Down in the polls with time running out, John McCain's campaign is being analyzed very closely these days. Even here in Utah, where Republicans always have a reason to be optimistic, there is a feeling the campaign is in trouble.

Mitt Romney put it very simply. Quoted in the New York Times over the weekend, he said, "Never count John McCain out."

Some say time is running out for McCain, even in Utah

But even as the McCain campaign goes after Barack Obama, McCain supporters are looking for something more: a McCain comeback.

Blame the economy, blame the news coverage if you like, but the reality is that even McCain campaign staffers -- from top advisers to volunteers -- are frustrated. And, as we saw last week, so are some voters.

The question coming up is: Are Republicans giving up on McCain and the election? With three weeks to go, the answer is no.

"So I think there is a touch of desperation to the McCain campaign. He's gone from a few points ahead to, 6 to 8, to in some case 10 points behind," said Tom DeFrank, of the New York Daily News.

But it's clear the McCain campaign is going to have to do something different if it is going to pull ahead of Obama. Time is running out.

"We're getting close enough to the election that the momentum is going to carry one way or the other, and pretty soon, it's going to be too late to affect, dramatically, any kind of outcome," said Utah Republican consultant Jeff Hartley.

In spite of an up day on Wall Street, McCain supporters can't count on the economy to turn things around, and they don't know what issue will.

Some say time is running out for McCain, even in Utah

Questions about Gov. Sarah Palin's role in the firing of Alaska's public safety director are not helping McCain. And pollster Dan Jones says, in Utah, some voters are finding themselves without a favorite candidate.

"They really miss Mitt Romney. I get more comments today than ever before that 'Don't you believe that if Mitt Romney were on the ticket, that Mr. McCain would be ahead and would win the election?'" Jones said.

But it's too late for that. The only way is forward. That means intense pressure on Wednesday's debate, and McCain is counting on coming back again.

"Nothing is inevitable here," McCain said. "We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history."

There's a chance that, in Utah, disappointed voters could translate into lower voter turnout. But interest is still high in all the candidates and issues this year.


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Richard Piatt


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