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McCain to stop in Columbia on Monday, spokeswoman says

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | 10:05 p.m. CDT; updated 11:19 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008

COLUMBIA — Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain plans to visit Columbia on Monday, Missouri Republican Party spokeswoman Tina Hervey said in an e-mail.

Hervey added that specifics on McCain's visit would be forthcoming from his campaign.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department was contacted by the U.S. Secret Service earlier this week about working with Columbia and Boone County law enforcement as part of McCain's security detail, Maj. Tom Reddin of the Sheriff's Department said.

McCain will be in Prince William County, Va., on Saturday and Toledo, Ohio, on Sunday. His campaign Web site lists rallies in St. Charles and Belton scheduled for Monday.

Calls to the Secret Service concerning specific details about McCain's visit were referred to his campaign.

McCain campaign spokeswoman Wendy Riemann said Thursday that she could not confirm the visit.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to make campaign stops in both Kansas City and St. Louis on Saturday.

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll released Oct. 13 shows Obama leading the race with 53 percent of voters saying they would vote for him if the election were held today, while 39 percent say they would vote for McCain.

But one Boone County Republican suspects that polls such as the New York Times survey are not as accurate in this election as they have been in the past.

"Right now, it looks to me like McCain ought to be ahead," said George Parker, a longtime Republican active in the county. "I think that people are embarrassed to have anyone think they would not vote for a certain person because of race or anything else. That might cause the polls to be off."

James Endersby, an associate professor of political science at MU, said that McCain is probably coming to Columbia because Missouri is "still in play" and is a toss-up state. Missouri also has a history of voting in favor of the winner.

"Typically, Missouri goes the same direction as the winner. The exception was the 1956 race between Stevenson and Eisenhower," Endersby said.

Missouri holds 11 of the 538 electoral votes in the Electoral College. A candidate needs 270 to win the election.

McCain will probably give "the typical stump speech," Endersby said, but added that he heard McCain's speech was recently rewritten to be more forceful.

Whatever speech McCain decides to give, Endersby said that he has to shore up some more Republican support, while still attracting the attention of independent voters.

Endersby predicted that the closer the election gets, the more candidate visits Missouri will see. Because Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden already stopped in Columbia in September, Endersby predicted that Obama won't be making an appearance but will focus instead on the bigger cities.

"But you never know," he said.

The advantage of coming to a smaller town like Columbia, Endersby said, is that "the market is smaller." McCain will probably receive more favorable attention, he said.

"Whenever a presidential candidate comes, it creates a lot of excitement for supporters," he said.

Parker said he thinks many voters make decisions based on personality rather than issues. McCain's speech may help those people get a better idea of the candidate.

"I think they look at Obama and they look at John McCain and they think ‘Who is the best person and who is the most qualified to run this country?'" Parker said. "What people have to decide is who is the person you trust no matter what the issue. Who is the honest, decent person who has enough knowledge to lead this country?"


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Comments

Terri Steele October 18, 2008 | 6:03 p.m.

Senator McCain has honorably served our country, but he himself has confessed he is no financial expert, and I believe his priorities have changed from advocating for mainstream Americans to the corporate elite.

Tax policies that positively impact the vast majority of working-class Americans, job creation plans that spur energy independence and lower utility bills, health-care options for small businesses and individuals and financial aid programs for college-bound youth is what we need to pull us out of this mess. These solutions are not socialism, they’re great public policy. And they will benefit the vast majority of us, and our families, friends and neighbors.

I've concluded the most results-oriented candidates surround themselves with experienced, proven leaders in the critical areas of economics and foreign policy, both of which are related to a diversified energy policy.

Financial expert Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker are whom Senator Obama turns to on economy policy. On foreign policy, Obama confers with Joe Biden (years on the Foreign Relations Committee) and Richard Lugar, the honorable Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I like an approach that values results over party loyalties, particularly when my party hasn’t been so loyal to me.

Who has the intelligence, education, finesse and vice presidential beef to address the issues that matter most to Americans? After vigorous research, scrutiny and debate, I've determined it's Barack Obama. And it would be wonderful to have family-oriented folks like Jill and Joe Biden join his lovely family in the White House, too!

It is the Obama-Biden economic plan that can best help our senior citizens, middle American families – and our college-bound children! I’m voting Obama-Biden.

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