Head games

June 20, 2008

What do you think? Is Indiana really going to be in play?

Shannon Gilson, a spokeswoman for Obama’s campaign, said the campaign feels so strongly about its chances in Indiana that it has assigned Emily Parcell, who was political director for Obama in the crucial first-caucus state of Iowa, to be state director in Indiana.

“She’s one of our most valued (staff members),” Gilson said. “We wouldn’t put Emily in a state we weren’t taking very seriously.”

Maybe. Obama has a growing following here, and the new ad he’s running will add to his appeal. On the other hand, this isn’t 1964, Obama isn’t incumbent, and McCain isn’t being painted as the scary extremist the way Goldwater was. A political scientist quoted in the piece thinks Obama’s campaign is just trying to mess with McCain’s head: “Obama, Sabato said, has a huge fundraising advantage over McCain and can use it to try to force McCain to spend money in places, including Indiana, where he has the advantage.” But that’s so old-politics, not at all in keeping with a “post-partisan” candidate. Obama wouldn’t go there, would he?

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2 Responses to “Head games”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    Nobody’s done a poll in Indiana since SurveyUSA on 4/29, which showed Obama 48, McCain 47. The Indy Star showed Obama leading 49-41 on 4/22.

    I don’t think McCain’s a good candidate for Indiana. He would have been in 2000, when he was willing to talk straight, even if it wasn’t something you want to hear, but these days, he seems to change his positions hourly. He doesn’t across as slick and smarmy, as Romney did, more like he’s angry and confused.

    Indiana may be the birthplace of the modern Klan, but I don’t think race is going to hurt Obama in Indiana. He doesn’t come across as a Black Panther, but more like Michael Jordan, Colin Powell or Tiger Woods.

    Hmmm. Tiger isn’t going to be playing golf the rest of the year, so he’d be free to campaign, and both parties are looking for a VP candidate. He works well under pressure, shows good judgment – and Eisenhower, who is remembered as one of the best presidents of the 20th century, was criticized roundly when he was president for playing golf all the time. Tiger for VP? We could do worse. In fact, we’re doing worse right now.

  2. Harl Delos Says:

    SurveyUSA just did an Indiana survey, June 21-23.

    They show Obama leading Indiana 48-47 overall. The margin of error is 4%, so it’s really a tie, but the raw numbers are startling.

    McCain’s leading among men 50-45, but Obama’s leading among women 51-44.

    Among GOP members, McCain is leading 80-16, and among Democrats, Obama is leading 78-29. No surprise there, but among independents, Obama is leading 49-42.

    Among white voters, McCain is winning 51-44, but among black voters, it’s Obama 84-14.

    Their survey on February 28 had McCain leading 50-41, winning men 50-39, women by 48-43, winning the GOP 75-19 while losing Democrats 71-20. He was winning independents 58-30. Among white voters, he was leading 54-37, and among black voters, Obama was leading 88-4.

    I think it’s interesting that McCain’s doing slightly better among both Republicans, and Democrats, but that Obama’s gains among the independents is much more substantial. It’s also interesting that Obama’s doing better among white voters, and McCain among black voters.

    Dubya won Indiana 60-39 in 2004. The very idea that a democrat might win Indiana’s electoral votes seems preposterous, but Dubya’s track record has made this a bad year to be running as a Republican, anywhere.


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