Polls Cause Campaigns to Change Their Itineraries

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Polls Cause Campaigns to Change Their Itineraries

Confronting an increasingly bleak electoral map, top aides to Senator John McCain said Thursday that they were searching for a “narrow-victory scenario” and would focus in the final weeks on a dwindling number of states, using mailings, telephone calls and television advertisements to try to tear away support from Senator Barack Obama.

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Richard Perry/The New York Times

John McCain; his wife, Cindy; Joseph I. Lieberman; and Mr. McCain’s mother, Roberta, at a rally Thursday in Pennsylvania, where some polls have shown Mr. McCain far behind Barack Obama.

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Damon Winter/The New York Times

Mr. Obama campaigning on Thursday at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry, N.H. “We have to be ready for anything,” said his strategist, David Axelrod. “We’re not going to let up for one week.”

Mr. Obama’s advisers said they would use the remaining 19 days of the campaign to focus mainly on capturing states that President Bush won in 2004; he is going to Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia, over the next three days and spending two days in Florida next week.

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