Monday, October 20, 2008
Mega Blog Post week of 10/20
After dealing with a death in the family I have returned to my blogging schedule.
Showdown in Pennsylvania:
According to several sources (example: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/20/mccain-camp-looking-for-way-to-win-without-colorado/) the McCain camp is seceding three former Bush states that Obama is ahead in (NM, IA and CO) in preparation for a last ditch effort to turn PA blue. Why are they doing this? Well, for Dems, PA is HUGE. Example, Obama could win every state Kerry won + NM + IA + CO AND win either MO, VA NV or NC and he would still lose the election if McCain managed to pick off PA. Obama would need to win OH or FL to offset a PA loss and I know, things are looking good in FL and are close in Ohio, but the Obama campaign has built this Kerry + IA, NM and CO firewall and its a damn good one. It gives them 273 electoral votes and puts McCain on the defensive - exactly where they need him to be. OH and FL are too iffy to bet on IMO - OH has some VERY conservative areas and FL has a wildly popular Republican Governor (and again, some VERY conservative areas, particularly in the panhandle). I guess another PA backup plan might be Obama winning Virginia plus any one of these states: North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana or Nevada - but man, theres a ton of intangibles there.
The question then becomes - Can McCain do it? Looking at the graph above, it certainly doesn't seem likely. Keep in mind though, Pollster.com doesn't weight polls for sample size or accuracy. FiveThirtyEight gives Obama a 9.5 point lead with a 4.5 margin of error. Real Clear Politics gives Obama an 11.7 point lead. Why am I worried? Kerry only won this state by 2.5 points. Obama got his ass beat in the primary - not always a great predictor of a national race, but certainly indicative of a general lack of support. Comments like this: http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/17764334/detail.html don't help things. Obama has a persistent Appalachian problem: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/12/134251/930/338/514258 . Lastly, the McCain camp MUST have some internal polls that put the race closer they aren't that stupid. If they win this election this powerplay will go down as one of the most brilliant political moves of all time. If they lose PA, it'll just be another failed strategy to put in the Obit.
Heres some more food for thought, racial politics are particularly caustic in Philadelphia and if a Democratic candidate doesn't run up HUGE margins in Philly and the surrounding suburbs they're sure to lose the state. Ed Rendell won the Gubanatorial primary in 2002 (http://www.post-gazette.com/election/20020522govrace0522p1.asp) by winning only 10 out of 67 counties, the general election results were similar. Keep in mind Rendell was a wildly popular Mayor of Philly, Obama is a guy who said that people in PA were "Bitter" and got his ass handed to him by Hillary Clinton. Now Rendell and Mayor Nutter are good Democrats and will work hard to get Obama elected, their political futures depend on it, but people like Senator Bob Casey need to work the traditionally republican areas around Pittsburgh and Obama campaign needs to show middle of the state some love. Send Biden to Scranton, Often. Bill and Hilary Clinton should make weekly visits. If the polls close in PA two weeks from Tuesday and the networks declare it "too close to call" its time to grab the paper towels and get ready to pee your pants.
Beaver State Roundup:
Blake's Oregon Voters Guide
The time is here. A Note: I am only making endorsements on certain races. I have my reasons......
President: Barack Obama and Joe Biden
US Senator: Jeff Merkley (I'll do a larger post about this race before the weekend)
Secretary of State: Kate Brown
State Treasurer: Ben Westlund
Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner: Brad Avakian
Portland City Council: Amanda Fritz
Measure 54: Yes
Measure 55: Yes
Measure 56: Yes
Measure 57: *No Endorsement*
Measure 58: Heeeellllllll no!
Measure 59: No thanks!
Measure 60: Heeeeeellllll no!
Measure 61: No, sir
Measure 62: Naw
Measure 63: Nein
Measure 64: Non
Measure 65: *No Endorsement*
Well thats it for tonight. This Saturday I'll be rocking out to Ted Leo and Against Me at the Aladdin Theater. My favorite tunes from both bands will play us out:
Man, Ted should definitely be closing.
Hearts and Thoughts,
BREAKING: Just as I finished this Blog it was announced that Barack Obama was leaving the campaign trail to go back to Hawaii to his ailing Grandmother. Now we'll get an accurate representation of how far John McCain has fallen. I'm hoping he'll yank all negative ads and put the attacks on hold. If he does so his poll numbers will probably continue to increase as a result.