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The State of McCain
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pauses as he speaks at a rally at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican presidential candidate John McCain pauses as he speaks at a rally at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Last debate tonight. Two weeks and change ’til election day.

And John McCain is way down in the polls. Tumbling. In national polls, down by double digits to Barack Obama. In key swing states, down. Among white women voters, down.

For weeks, McCain and Sarah Palin hit the trail with angry, almost mob-stirring attacks on Obama. It backfired. McCain suspended his campaign to, he said, jump on the economic crisis. That backfired, too.

Ronald Reagan came back from a deeper hole, in less time, in 1980. Can McCain do it this time?

This hour, On Point: the McCain campaign, trailing, and running out of time.

You can join the conversation. Are you a supporter who has drifted away? Can McCain and Palin win you back? Is it too late? Tell us what you think.

Guests:

We’re joined first from New York by Frank Luntz. He’s a well-known political pollster whose clients have included Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, and he’s been running post-debate focus groups for Fox News. He’s the author of “Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear.”

From Boston we’re joined by Jonathan Kaufman, senior reporter for The Wall Street Journal covering the campaign. His latest piece looks at the shift of working-class women to Obama as the economy has worsened.

Joining us from Washington, DC, is David Winston. President and founder of The Winston Group, he’s a Republican pollster and strategist currently advising House Minority Leader John Boehner and other GOP congressional leaders. He served as director of planning for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and was chief information officer for the Republican National Committee from 1989-1993.

And from New York we’re joined by Holly Bailey, a correspondent for Newsweek traveling with John McCain on the campaign trail.

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ONPOINT
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Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

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