McCain D’Backs Odds on the White House

By Ed O'Keefe

Oct 15, 2007 4:00pm

ABC News’ Bret Hovell Reports: Parallels between sports and politics are made so often, it’s almost a shame to keep repeating them.

But when Senator John McCain was offered the opportunity to compare his chances of winning the presidency to the chances of his beloved Arizona Diamondbacks making the World Series (currently down three games to zero in a best of seven series against the Colorado Rockies), even he couldn’t pass it up. 

McCain, R-Ariz, was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show Monday, when Patrick asked McCain for some political and sports prognostication.

Listen to the audio clip HERE.

"Who has a better chance," Patrick asked McCain, "you to be president or Arizona to go to the World Series?"

McCain laughed, "Well, in all due respect," he said, "I think they’re about the same."

What does that mean?

It could be, of course, that McCain has as much faith in his hometown team as he does in his presidential bid. He’s an avid fan, frequently staying up into the early hours of the morning to watch D-Backs games.

But what ARE the Diamondbacks’ chances of winning the National League pennant against a Rockies team on a hot streak?

"Conservatively, it’s probably one in one thousand," says ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, an expert on such things.

Arizona is down three games to zero in a best of seven series – one more win for the Colorado Rockies, and it’s game over for the Diamondbacks. Many pundits and political experts have expressed similar concerns about McCain’s chances to win the White House.

Nevertheless, the candidate remains optimistic — on his chances, if not in his team’s odds.

"I think that we’re getting some traction and we’re moving up," McCain continued with Patrick. "Listen, I know that things are getting better because I had a town hall meeting the night before last in New Hampshire, actually it was three nights ago. And there was a Red Sox game on at the same time and we still had a packed house. So that’s a good sign as to the health of our campaign."

Beyond their chances for success, the comparisons between McCain and the Diamondbacks do not make it very far.

This year Arizona was a young team, not expected to even make it to the playoffs. McCain, on the other hand, is a veteran of 24 years in Congress, and a previous presidential bid, back in 2000. In fact, it was McCain who was expected to lead the Republican field.

McCain, offers Gomez, is more like another team, which started out on top.

"McCain is almost like the Mets," offers Gomez, of the team that lost out on the playoffs despite having a 7-game cushion with only 17 games remaining in the season.

Ouch! Maybe the Senator should stay away from comparing sports and politics.

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