McCain Can Win
They believe that concerns among small town and rural voters about Mr Obama's ethnic background and lack of experience would result in a decisive amount of "split ticket" voting in November's general election.But McCain's made some mistakes.
The effect of Barack's big black vote is overplayed, as even John Kerry received 88% of the black vote:
Karl Rove, Mr Bush's former right-hand man, told Fox News: "John McCain needs a clear image of what he is going to do over the next four years ... he doesn't have that yet."
Other senior Republicans expressed fears that he had failed to exploit the drawn out contest for the Democratic nomination between Mr Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton.
Chip Felkel, a Republican consultant in South Carolina, which Mr Obama won by a landslide with the help of the black vote, said: "The African American vote makes more states interesting but doesn't really bring them into play. That's probably true for my state, North Carolina and Georgia."Democrats figure Barack can use his money advantage to hold McCain off.
Privately, Democratic strategists concede the validity of the scenario, but stress that Mr Obama has time to overcome voters' doubts, and will be vastly better funded than Mr McCain.