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View Full Version : Obama fans out, McCain stays put as strategists scour electoral map



DenButsu
09-09-2008, 05:20 AM
Obama fans out, McCain stays put as strategists scour electoral map
The Democrat is targeting many GOP strongholds as the Republican focuses on typical battlegrounds.
By Peter Nicholas
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 9, 2008

WASHINGTON Entering the final stage of the race, the two presidential campaigns are plotting strategies that rely on vastly different readings of the electoral map, with Democrat Barack Obama competing hard in a large number of traditionally Republican states and John McCain, the GOP nominee, focusing on a small set of familiar battlegrounds.

A wild card in their calculations is McCain's surprise vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin.

Strategists in both parties say it is too early to assess whether the Alaska governor's conservative profile, which has energized core Republican voters, will put new states in play for the GOP ticket. A McCain campaign that has struggled with a lack of enthusiasm says it is already heartened by one post-Palin development: a wave of new GOP volunteers in Florida, Wisconsin and other crucial states.

National polls suggest the race is a tossup. In presidential contests, though, the trick is stringing together victories in enough states to clear a 270-vote majority in the electoral college.

With the election less than two months out, each campaign is reevaluating the map. Privately, McCain strategists acknowledge they are up against a mighty field operation assembled by the Obama campaign, which McCain's team has been hard-pressed to match.

The Obama campaign's worries include carrying Wisconsin and New Hampshire, two states that voted Democratic four years ago but are no sure thing this time around. They are also keeping a wary eye on Michigan, another Democratic state in 2004. Obama made two stops there Monday, talking about the slumping economy.

"We had no illusions that this was going to be anything but close," David Axelrod, Obama's lead strategist, told reporters recently.

...latimes (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-election9-2008sep09,0,2905752,print.story)

I think this is a pretty decent overview of where things stand right now, and worth a read of the whole piece.

SmthBluCitrus
09-09-2008, 08:51 AM
Obama's is a continuation of Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. It's a good plan, and it has worked on the state level by reaching out to everybody you can touch. But, we'll see if it works on the national level this November.

It's one of those things that needs to work from the ground up, and so far, I'd say that Obama has been successful.

ari1013
09-09-2008, 09:13 AM
Well he's not really targetting 50 states. He's not stupid. With Palin on the ticket, McCain's building 30 point leads in the Deep South.

Obama is, however, targetting Montana, the Dakotas, Nevada, Nebraska CD-2 (Omaha), Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, and he had been targetting Alaska -- along with all the regular battlegrounds.

SmthBluCitrus
09-09-2008, 09:25 AM
I'll disagree (circle gets a square) -- sorry.

Obama has offices with people on the ground in all the states. He is actually touching all 50 states, and his organization is unbelievable. Whether or not Obama, Biden, or a proxy get to the state is another matter. But, they do have a strong ground game that is getting people out, motivated, and registered.

BG7
09-09-2008, 09:29 AM
It looks, at least right now, that Obama will lose the popular vote, but win the election. Sarah Palin is going to help the McCain ticket rack up massive leads in states like Utah, Nebraska, the rustbelt, etc. Palin probably puts Ohio out of play for Obama too, but thrusts Florida into play, and makes Colorado / New Mexico out of play for Obama. If Obama keeps New Hampshire, he wins the election, if he loses New Hampshire, we will have an electoral tie...which should be fun!

SmthBluCitrus
09-09-2008, 09:50 AM
I don't see the winner losing the popular vote. Personally, I still see Obama getting this thing with 53% of the popular -- but I'm not sure how the EVs break. I don't see a tie though.

BG7
09-09-2008, 11:16 AM
I don't see the winner losing the popular vote. Personally, I still see Obama getting this thing with 53% of the popular -- but I'm not sure how the EVs break. I don't see a tie though.

Basically, Obama had a 2+ point national lead or so before all the conventions. It looks like McCain will come up, about +2 to +1 after all the convention bounces even out. What is happening, is McCain is just racking up his scores in the Deep South, Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, Idaho, Nebraska, and the Rust Belt (sans Pennsylvania), which has shifted the popular vote in his direction.

But swing states liike Colorado/New Mexico seemed to have been swung more in Obama's direction. Florida is rapidly moving towards Obama, but I would never bank on Florida if I'm a dem. Virginia and North Carolina also remain unmoved. New Hampshire is the biggest mystery right now, but if he carries New Mexico / Colorado, it won't be needed (it will then go to congress, which should rule in favor of Obama).

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I would think once the debates start, things should move rapidly in favor of Obama/Biden, but it seems like if Palin gives a ****** speech, or whatever, it is a "great" speech because the commentators had no expectations for it, and aren't comparing it to an Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or Bill Clinton speech which are all much better. If Sarah Palin doesn't roll over and die in the debates, they are probably going to say she won that too.

SmthBluCitrus
09-09-2008, 11:26 AM
I understand where you're coming from BG7 with the numbers. And, aside from the fact that I completely distrust national polling, you appear to have done your research on individual state numbers.

What these polls don't take into account is the other 20% of likely voters that haven't even made up their mind yet -- and won't, until about seven (or less) days out. Polling varies day-to-day, and it really depends on the indies that they hit. Because, just because your voter registration says indie/no party doesn't mean that you can sway either way. I have friends that are registered as no-party here in Iowa, yet they ALWAYS vote Dem ... or ALWAYS vote GOP, regardless of the candidate.

What is more telling, in my eyes, is the numbers that each party is getting registered to vote. The GOP has lost about a million since 2004, while the Dems have picked up over 300,000.

I still don't think that McCain has a shot at taking over 55% of the independent vote -- which he needs to pull this thing off (as there are more registered Dems than there are GOP). He could very well rack up some numbers in the "deep south" and some western states. But, those states don't have hardy enough populations to overcome numbers of Dem strongholds like California and New York. And, you'll see Chicago (naturally) and possibly downstate Illinois actually break Obama out of state pride -- which I believe will have a large effect.

I don't see McCain even touching the popular.

gcoll
09-09-2008, 11:27 AM
I would kind of get a kick out of Obama losing the popular vote, but winning the presidency.

ari1013
09-09-2008, 12:38 PM
I'll disagree (circle gets a square) -- sorry.

Obama has offices with people on the ground in all the states. He is actually touching all 50 states, and his organization is unbelievable. Whether or not Obama, Biden, or a proxy get to the state is another matter. But, they do have a strong ground game that is getting people out, motivated, and registered.
Looking at where he's spending money, it's about 30 states, not 50. The groundwork is there as part of the DNC strategy for the lower tier races, but Obama can't afford to throw money at Utah and Oklahoma.

ari1013
09-09-2008, 12:39 PM
It looks, at least right now, that Obama will lose the popular vote, but win the election. Sarah Palin is going to help the McCain ticket rack up massive leads in states like Utah, Nebraska, the rustbelt, etc. Palin probably puts Ohio out of play for Obama too, but thrusts Florida into play, and makes Colorado / New Mexico out of play for Obama. If Obama keeps New Hampshire, he wins the election, if he loses New Hampshire, we will have an electoral tie...which should be fun!
Obama's up double digits in New Mexico actually. And he's gone up 3 in the polls in Colorado since the close of the RNC.

ari1013
09-09-2008, 12:40 PM
I understand where you're coming from BG7 with the numbers. And, aside from the fact that I completely distrust national polling, you appear to have done your research on individual state numbers.

What these polls don't take into account is the other 20% of likely voters that haven't even made up their mind yet -- and won't, until about seven (or less) days out. Polling varies day-to-day, and it really depends on the indies that they hit. Because, just because your voter registration says indie/no party doesn't mean that you can sway either way. I have friends that are registered as no-party here in Iowa, yet they ALWAYS vote Dem ... or ALWAYS vote GOP, regardless of the candidate.

What is more telling, in my eyes, is the numbers that each party is getting registered to vote. The GOP has lost about a million since 2004, while the Dems have picked up over 300,000.

I still don't think that McCain has a shot at taking over 55% of the independent vote -- which he needs to pull this thing off (as there are more registered Dems than there are GOP). He could very well rack up some numbers in the "deep south" and some western states. But, those states don't have hardy enough populations to overcome numbers of Dem strongholds like California and New York. And, you'll see Chicago (naturally) and possibly downstate Illinois actually break Obama out of state pride -- which I believe will have a large effect.

I don't see McCain even touching the popular.
A lot of that million is coming back...

Wrigleyboy25
09-09-2008, 12:42 PM
I'm getting the feeling Obama is going to win the popular vote overwhelmingly yet lose the election.

KingJamsI
09-09-2008, 12:54 PM
Statistically, at this moment in time, it is about twice as likely that Obama wins in and electoral landslide (375+) than it is for either candidate win the election, loosing the popular vote according to fivethirtyeight.com.. the preeminent electoral trend website.

They have Chances of an Obama landslide at just over 15%, chances of either candidate loosing the Pop. but winning the College at 4.13 and 3.16 percent for Obama and McCain respectively.

Wrigleyboy25
09-09-2008, 01:00 PM
Statistically, at this moment in time, it is about twice as likely that Obama wins in and electoral landslide (375+) than it is for either candidate win the election, loosing the popular vote according to fivethirtyeight.com.. the preeminent electoral trend website.

They have Chances of an Obama landslide at just over 15%, chances of either candidate loosing the Pop. but winning the College at 4.13 and 3.16 percent for Obama and McCain respectively.
Interesting. My thinking was just that Obama would pick up a lot of extra votes in states like Georgia, but still lose the state.

BG7
09-09-2008, 01:11 PM
Looking at where he's spending money, it's about 30 states, not 50. The groundwork is there as part of the DNC strategy for the lower tier races, but Obama can't afford to throw money at Utah and Oklahoma.

The ground game is actually the residual of the long Democratic primary process.

BG7
09-09-2008, 01:12 PM
Obama's up double digits in New Mexico actually. And he's gone up 3 in the polls in Colorado since the close of the RNC.

That was a mistype. I meant out of reach for McCain there.

Doc Fluty
09-09-2008, 01:28 PM
I agree with wrig... i can see obama winning the popular in a landslide.. but lose a election by 4-5 points..

can you just imagine the democrats screaming for an end to the electoral college if that happened? they were already mad when gore won the popular vote and lost the election... if it happens again you can expect riots lol

ari1013
09-09-2008, 05:55 PM
Interesting. My thinking was just that Obama would pick up a lot of extra votes in states like Georgia, but still lose the state.
Not likely. McCain's building up 20+ leads all across the South. Meanwhile Obama's got good sized (8-12 point) leads in about 15 states and slim leads in another dozen or so.

Wrigleyboy25
09-09-2008, 05:58 PM
Not likely. McCain's building up 20+ leads all across the South. Meanwhile Obama's got good sized (8-12 point) leads in about 15 states and slim leads in another dozen or so.
So do you think it's just going to come down to the swing states again?

BG7
09-09-2008, 06:05 PM
Obama down 20 in North Carolina, 5 in Florida, and 11 in Montana due to today's polls.

If I was Obama, I would tighten where my resources are going.

I would still put some light advertising in Iowa/Wisconsin, just to make sure they don't slip into swing states, given Wisconsin was the closest state last election, and Bush won Iowa last election. Obama shouldn't worry about Pennsylvania. If he loses that, he's already lost the election. Michigan is a closer state, so dump resources there, make sure that stays Democrat. New Hampshire is pretty swing, so dump resources there. This should keep the Gore states pretty safely Obama. Then he needs the building blocks for 270 on top of the Gore States. New Mexico and Colorado are the big two. Dump your resources there. Then Nevada/Virginia are your second tier swing states that you target. Then Florida/Ohio are your third tier, but don't count on them.

SmthBluCitrus
09-09-2008, 06:17 PM
Obama down 20 in North Carolina, 5 in Florida, and 11 in Montana due to today's polls.

If I was Obama, I would tighten where my resources are going.

I would still put some light advertising in Iowa/Wisconsin, just to make sure they don't slip into swing states, given Wisconsin was the closest state last election, and Bush won Iowa last election. Obama shouldn't worry about Pennsylvania. If he loses that, he's already lost the election. Michigan is a closer state, so dump resources there, make sure that stays Democrat. New Hampshire is pretty swing, so dump resources there. This should keep the Gore states pretty safely Obama. Then he needs the building blocks for 270 on top of the Gore States. New Mexico and Colorado are the big two. Dump your resources there. Then Nevada/Virginia are your second tier swing states that you target. Then Florida/Ohio are your third tier, but don't count on them.

Advertising should be more than light in Iowa (meaning the Iowa budget should be drastically reduced). The ground work here is bulky with Obama people. Your hard pressed to go anywhere without running into a canvasser or vol. Each phone canvasser is getting in touch with 300 - 500 per night, and each walker is getting in touch with 100 - 150 doors per night.

I think Iowa is locked for Obama.

ari1013
09-09-2008, 08:55 PM
So do you think it's just going to come down to the swing states again?
As it always does. Only this time the swing states are different than they were last time. Sure Ohio's still the biggie, but Colorado and Virginia are in it this time as well.