A United States of America
October 18, 2008 3 Comments
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Democrat Barack Obama drew his largest U.S. crowd to date on Saturday – an estimated 100,000 people who came to hear him speak at the Gateway Arch — as he campaigned in battleground Missouri just 17 days ahead of the election. [...]
Saturday evening, a crowd estimated at more than 75,000 thronged the Liberty Memorial near downtown Kansas City for another Obama rally.
Thursday’s first day of early voting drew record numbers across North Carolina, election officials said, as more than 100,000 people turned out.
[...] Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds
but wait, there’s more…
Network news executives said they are preparing for an unusual Election Night challenge: How to be honest with the audience, and still keep them tuned in, if the race between John McCain and Barack Obama is effectively decided before most Americans have finished dinner. [...]
The quandary is highlighted by Virginia, a state that has not voted Democratic for president since 1964 but where Obama is now leading in polls. There is no realistic McCain electoral college strategy that does not depend on winning the Old Dominion.
If it is clear on Nov. 4 that Obama has won in Virginia by the time polls there close at 7 p.m. — it will still be daylight west of the Mississippi — the obvious conclusion will be that Obama is headed to the White House.
According to most polls, Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead in Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, all states that many political strategists and pollsters believe are too far gone at this late date for John McCain to win.
Still, McCain’s campaign soldiers on in those Democratic-leaning states, committing its most precious commodities—time and money— even as he struggles to lock up the red states he likely must sweep to win the presidency.
It’s a head-scratching strategy that is leading even some Republicans to wonder why the McCain campaign hasn’t written off places like Iowa and Pennsylvania and strategically retreated to ensure victory in more favorable red state terrain—such as Virginia and North Carolina—that it absolutely cannot afford to lose.
“It seems to me the world has changed but they are living in an old construct. You pull out of Michigan and you stay in Pennsylvania. You stay in Iowa?” asked Tony Fabrizio, the pollster for 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole.
“Tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America …
… there is The United States of America.”