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McCain: GOP race could be over Tue.

From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
McCain held a lengthy press conference on the plane somewhere between St. Louis and Chicago last night. He addressed his need to unite the Republican Party by improving his standing amongst conservatives, and he also said that he believes there's a good chance the race could be over on Tuesday.

"From what we see in the polls I think that there's a very good chance that it will be over on Tuesday. But I think there's still a lot of undivided -- undecided voters, but I'm hoping that we can, we can -- the sooner I get that done, the sooner I can go to work on uniting the party."

Talking about courting conservatives, McCain said: "We'll be talking to them. We'll be going to their gatherings. We'll be talking to them and emphasizing my conservative credentials. And there's one other factor. The reason we are doing so well with conservatives outside of some of those very visible people is because they think the transcendent challenge is radical Islamic extremists and I think I can prove to them that I can keep America safe."

He added, "Now there are some others who obviously don't feel that's there priority, but I don't think we could have won the Florida primary, which was a Republican primary, without getting a significant number of conservative voters. And also finally, I think maybe when they look at the opposition, I may be a little more attractive."

On uniting the party, he said: "We'd like to have everybody on board. We'd like to have a totally united party, but I also realize that there are some people that just may not be able to support me at the end of the day and I understand that. But I've got to work hard to get as much of the party as I can, because we've got an uphill battle for November. I know that."

On Romney's attacks: "I think that in the last few days the only thing left they haven't tried to hit me with is the kitchen sink. It's remarkable.

And on Obama's recent digs at McCain: "Without in anyway denigrating or in any way being critical of Senator Obama, who I have great respect for, it's [his stance on the war] a product of his inexperience and we'll be highlighting that and inexperience, lack of knowledge of national security issues, could only lead one to the conclusion that you would have immediate withdrawal from Iraq."