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Where the Candidates Go From Here

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

October 16, 2008

With the final presidential debate over and only 19 days left until the election, the UVa Center for Politics says that something significant will have to happen for things to swing in favor of John McCain.

"At this point John McCain needs something external to happen, his campaign has flailed around and they've tried just about everything in the playbook to bring Obama's numbers down," said Cordel Faulk of the UVa Center for Politics.

Faulk says that though McCain had a good night at the debate, there was no game changing moment, and despite being mentioned throughout the night, Joe the plumber will not be the October surprise McCain needs.

"90% of the country right now in a lot of polls is upset with the direction of the country and it's just not good for John McCain and Joe the plumber is within that 90%," said Faulk.

So where does McCain go from here?

"To start to question Obama's character, to talk about his relationships and to attack his plan and talk about taxes, all the things Republicans normally do at the end of a campaign but I'm just not sure any of its going to work right now," said Faulk.

As for Obama, Faulk says he needs to start playing the part.

"What Obama needs to do is to stand in front of the cameras and to look in the camera and to look and sound like a president and that's what he's going to do and that's pretty much how he's going to close the deal," said Faulk.

While staying low key until election day.

"In football, when you're trying to run out the clock you just hand the ball off to the running back, and right now you're going to see the political equivalent of Barack Obama handing the ball off to the running back, play after play after play and just running off the clock," said Faulk.

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