McCain Tries to Shore Up Traditional Republican States

(CBS)

From CBS News' John Bentley:

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The last time Virginia voted for a Democratic president, the Dow Jones had yet to break 1000, The Supremes had the number one record, and the commonwealth cast their 11 electoral votes for Lyndon Johnson.

That was 44 years ago, but Barack Obama is hoping to do the same thing this year, according to recent polls that show him with a slight lead there. That's why John McCain is campaigning in Virginia today, a state that was thought to be solidly in the Republican column until recently.

"I'd like to give you a little straight talk, we're a couple points down, OK, nationally, but we're right in this game. The economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two, but in the last few days we've seen it come back up because they want experience, and they want knowledge and they want vision and we'll give that to America and I know that we're going to win this race," McCain told volunteers at his Arlington, Virginia, campaign headquarters yesterday. "It's close up in Virginia, but we're going to win in Virginia and we're going to have to get out our vote and that's what a lot of it's going to come down to."

Another bad omen for McCain from 1964? Johnson trounced his political idol and fellow Arizonan Barry Goldwater in one of the most lopsided presidential election in history.

North Carolina was thought to be even more solid for McCain – he hasn't campaigned there since May – but he has a rally scheduled for this afternoon in Wilmington to try and shore up what has suddenly turned into a battleground state.