Political Strategies - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/15/08- East Texas

Political Strategies

Election day is just weeks away and Wednesday night is your last chance to hear Senators John McCain and Barack Obama debate one another.

According to the Associated Press, polls show Obama with a pretty good lead. So we wanted to know what it is going to take for McCain to pull ahead and also, what Obama needs to do to stay on top? KLTV 7's Courtney Lane sat down with local leaders to see how each candidate needs to perform in this final round.

Senator John McCain's campaign is hoping to score some big points. Local Republican leaders say that's going to take some swinging.

"Swinging but a nice swing, not mean or anything but I think he has to get him to answer some questions and be more confrontational," said Smith County Republican Chair Ashton Oravetz. 

"He's got to do two things," said Dr. Larry Carter from U.T. Tyler.  "He's got to present this proposal to the people in a clear way that they understand it and say this is why I want to vote for this man. At the same time for some of the conservatives, he's got to also go after Obama."

Dr. Carter says McCain needs to bring-up Obama's reported relationship with 60's radical William Ayers. But he says that could be a tricky balancing act.

"You have to look presidential without looking like you're on the attack and looking like you're desperate."

"He's got to answer it directly but he's got to answer it the same way he's been answering it," said Smith County Democratic Chair David Henderson. 

Henderson says Obama needs to stay the course. Exactly how he's handled the last 2 debates.

"Obama, in a very difficult situation, has maintained his poise... he looks presidential," said Henderson. 

"Obama doesn't have a whole lot to gain being aggressive," said Dr. Carter.

Oravetz says McCain really needs to hit home his proposal on fixing the economic crisis.

"He has to tie the economic problems we're having to the democrats. Because it's basically off of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and it's the democrats that have allowed this to happen and I don't think he's been strong enough on that."

Though Dr. Carter says it may be hard to gain an edge, in the close setting-style of this last debate.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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