- 27 Oct 08, 08:48 PM GMT
He doesn't have long, but John McCain has two routes he will follow this week to try to stop Barack Obama winning the White House.
He will continue to portray his opponent as a liberal 'tax and spender', a proponent of big government.
He will also warn of the consequences of having both a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat-controlled Congress.
This amounts - in his mind - to a liberal one-party state.
The common thread here is that for many these two ideas are profoundly un-American.
Just listen to how this woman put it to me at the latest McCain rally in Dayton, Ohio:
This is a useful summary of what some are worried about.
For many US voters these twin messages work, and for the large number of them who still say to me at McCain rallies that they just don't know "who" Barack Obama is, article like this might - if they were to read them - help to fill in the blanks.
I think this is a key bit: "We have never, ever in our 232-year history, elected a president who so completely and openly opposed the idea of limited government, the absolute cornerstone of the United States of America."
John McCain's problem of course is that while the idea of limited government runs in the blood of many here, this election is being fought at a time when many seem to believe government does need to step in and rescue the faltering economy.
Remember too that John McCain voted for the huge bailout package.
However, by pointing up the big philosophical differences between himself and Mr Obama, John McCain is giving himself a final shot.
The other day I met a self-described "independent-minded Republican voter" on a flight to Denver.
We discussed how he would probably vote for McCain.
He did say that he would have been willing to vote for Obama ("despite his socialist tendencies") if it had not been for the fact that the Democrats could end up controlling "everything".
A lot of people feel like this. John McCain's best hope lies in enough people having the words "big liberal government" flash through their minds, when they walk into the polling booth in a week's time.
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