CQ says . . .

August 14, 2008

Congressional Quarterly says Indiana is still likely to go Republican in the presidential race:

Indiana is one of 11 states that have voted Republican in each of the past 10 presidential elections, with more electoral votes than any state in that group except Virginia (13) — and McCain appears highly likely to extend the GOP’s winning streak this November. Though its sits geographically alongside the mostly Democratic-leaning states of the industrial Midwest, heavily rural Indiana has been nearly as Republican in presidential contests as the Plains States of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Though Obama’s home state of Illinois, a Democratic lock in November, shares a long border with Indiana, it will be very difficult for the Democratic nominee to capture a state that four years ago backed Bush by a 21-percentage-point margin over John Kerry .

Don’t know about that “heavily rural” stuff — if that influenced the thinking at CQ, maybe they should reconsider. Yes, our land is mostly rural — about 65 percent agricultural, compared to around 50 percent for the nation as a whole. But land doesn’t vote. Our population is only about 23 percent rural.

One Response to “CQ says . . .”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    “Rural” doesn’t mean agricultural, Leo.

    The cornfields around Woodlan High School are agricultural but not rural. The Blackford County Courthouse is rural but not agricultural.

    And the kind folks of Dillman, Indiana are considered to live in the metro Fort Wayne, even though it’s a 42 mile trip that takes 51 minutes to get from there to Riegel’s on Calhoun.

    There’s a map at http://www.in.gov/isdh/images/map1.gif that shows metro versus rural Indiana. It’s a county-by-county determination, which reflects reality poorly.

    Indiana is relatively young, which favors Obama. It’s 18th of the 50 states in percentage of the population between 18 and 29. It’s 27th in percentage of the population over 65.

    It’s also pretty lax about voting, ranking 45th of 50 states in voter turnout. Enthusiastic voters could make a difference.

    That, combined with Jill Long’s poll numbers, makes the Obama team think Indiana is worth campaigning in. They haven’t really fought for Indiana since before Quayle was on the ticket in 1988.

    McCain’s team isn’t fighting for Indiana. I’m not sure if they think it’s a lost cause, if they think it’s a sure thing, or they simply can’t come up with the resources. It’s hard to campaign when nobody thinks the candidate is worth the time and money.

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