Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Winning Out West

I've posted on this topic before, but winning out West will matter tremendously to the victor in this campaign. The Midwest (Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania especially) tend to hog the limelight. The South, too, holds a special place in election politics with its racial history and large African American populations. But, the West, libertarian and distant, matters just as much.

Team Obama is building on the foundations set by Colorado's Senator Salazar and Governor Ritter. Those two, and Montana Gov. Schweitzer are finding ways for Democrats to win in areas previously entirely devoid of Democrats. While Senator Obama won't win every state in the West, or even half of those states, his campaign continues to invest heavily in the region.

In a race as tight as this one should be, investing in the West is smart business. not have to devote resources. Second, picking Palin doesn't necessarily help McCain in the West. True, Colorado has plenty of evangelicals who will be smitten by her story. But, in states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico, you are just as likely to find social libertarians (as in, "We don't care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, the government should stay out of it.") People with those attitudes will not go for Palin in the large numbers that McCain expects.


Brian said...

Colorado and New Mexico (and Maybe Nevada as a nice bonus) will probably be a backstop for Obama.

But he has to get all of what Kerry got in 04...plus Iowa, in order to make it work. It looks like holding on to Pennsylvania could be a challenge. Obama can't afford to lose any of those upper Midwestern & Eastern States that Democrats were expected to win.

McCain has been able to put Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania in play, although the trend over time shows Obama should have the advantage. Obama also has the urban advantage, which may not show up well in polls. There is really no way that Obama should lose with Detroit, Flint, The Twin Cities, Philly and Pittsburgh factored in. It would take the mother of all Bradley Effects for McCain to win, IMO.

If Obama can pick up Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia or North Carolina... it would be a very nice bonus, but he might have to slide by without these States.... He can't seem to get over the hump in any of them. (getting and maintaining a lead for any significant period of time). The Race factor is too strong.

That makes the West so much more important this time around. Hopefully Obama can get all three Western battlegrounds- NM, CO, and NV. Then it won't matter what the prejudiced voters decide to do in Ohio, Florida, here in Missouri & elsewhere.

But something tells me that Obama will win at least one of those 6 States I mentioned above.

Brian said...

Dr. King,

Are you planning to attend your debate?

Will you be live blogging?

Please let us know.