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John McCain still has Iowa on his mind -- and his schedule

John McCain's seemingly odd obsession with Iowa remains unabated. But concerned Republicans might take heart from learning the McCain campaign insists it knows what it's doing.

The Ticket previously expressed befuddlement about a late-September stop in the Des Moines area by McCain; given the strong sense in the political world -- backed up by poll data -- that Barack Obama looks likely to carry the state's seven electoral votes. Seconding that bewilderment over McCain's itinerary was savvy former GOP strategist Mike Murphy.

Despite such questions, McCain's schedule for the rest of this week finds him traveling to Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday for a late-morning rally -- his only campaign event that day before heading to Washington for some brief down time.

The latest average of Iowa polls, as gathered here by RealClearPolitics.com, gives Obama a 9.5-percentage-point lead.

No survey has been taken since October began, though. And McCain's political director, Mike DuHaime, this week told Dan Balz of the Washington Post that the campaign's own polling "has Obama's lead [in Iowa] in the low single digits."

Davenport traditionally has been one of Iowa's more Democratic areas, so it will be worth watching what sort of crowd the McCain stop generates.

-- Don Frederick

 

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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