Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green Bay & the electoral college

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times headlines:

Uncharacteristically low turnout for Barack Obama in Green Bay, Wisc.

McCain/Palin drew 4, 000 more supporters at same venue a week ago
and follows with a story which begins - - -

Hoping to shore up support in his suddenly undependable backyard, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama flew here Monday to talk about how he’d handle economic crises as president.

Recent polls have shown that Wisconsin — once pretty solidly in Obama’s column — is now a statistical dead heat between Obama and Republican John McCain. …

The numbers in Wisconsin and Minnesota are getting close enough that the Obama campaign closed its 11 campaign offices in North Dakota and moved the 50 staffers there to these two states.

Just a week ago, John McCain and his vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin — who can bring out crowds the way Obama can — appeared in this same stadium, Resch Center, to a crowd of 10,000 fans. There were an uncharacteristic amount of empty orange seats for Obama’s rally.

In their defense, Obama's backers note their rally was held on Monday at noon, compared to a Thursday night rally for McCain and Palin. …

The entire Sun-Times story’s here.


Today’s Sun-Times story is really two stories.

The headline writers focused only on comparative crowd sizes at the Obama and McCain/Palin rallies. That’s an interesting story given all the hype we keep hearing about how easily Obama can turn out crowds everywhere from LA to Berlin, Germany.

But time of day and the presence of Gov. Palin no doubt explain the crowd size difference.

So I wouldn’t at this point read too much into the crowd size story.

The other and much more important story is that McCain has pulled close in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

If McCain can carry both those states, he’ll very likely win.

Even if loses the two states, but keeps it close in both, he still has a good chance of winning because coming close in those states suggests he could win Ohio and Pennsylvania where he's expected to run more strongly than in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Turning back to the crowd size story, it does raise the question of whether Obamamania hasn’t peaked in many parts of America. He was here in North Carolina last week and didn't draw the size crowd one of his aides told me Team Obama was expecting.

Hat tip: Archer 05