Pushing into the Red States
by Denny Crane, Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:29:00 PM EDT
Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama
Mark Halperin has a brief article up at The Page questioning Obama's strategy of targeting traditionally red states with staff and spending:
But every dollar and every hour spent in places like deeply Republican Georgia divert resources from must win battlegrounds like Michigan. Some strategists wonder, then, if Obama's campaign risks trying to win by a landslide and possibly losing by a hair.
Thanks for your hand-wringing concern, Mr. Halperin, but you couldn't be more wrong. Progressives can't gain ground by playing it safe, and neither can the Democratic party. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton increased turnout in the primaries to never before seen levels, and that includes those red states where Mark Halperin believes Obama is now wasting our money.
We have to expand the electorate, and we don't do that by singing to the choir. This is a mistake that Democrats have been making for years, and finally, we have a candidate who sees that flawed strategy for what it is. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is a good one, and it's the model of future Democratic politics. We don't cede half of the country to the Republicans, we fight them on their own turf.
John Kerry followed the "battleground states" approach in 2004, and we see how that turned out. One of the worst mistakes he made was pulling out of Missouri when he did.
I don't know if Obama is going to actually win Georgia or not, but he's going to make John McCain spend some money here. Obama is going to get more Democrats and Obamacans out to the polls in Georgia, and that might be enough to slide Jim Martin into office. The down-ticket races matter.
Here's a bit of gleeful nonsense from the Washington Times:
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign laid out a list of 18 battleground states earlier this summer, and spent money advertising in each.
But the new Obama ad released just now will only run in 16 states. Seems red states Georgia and Indiana have been dropped from the list.
The fact is, Obama is aggressively pursuing voters in red states, much more so than John Kerry ever considered. John Kerry fought in basically two states - Florida and Ohio, and ignored the rest of the country.
And let's not forget, that Obama outreach seems to working in Alaska.
Obama - strong 138/400 35%
Obama - not so strong 28/400 7%
Undecided - lean Obama 15/400 4%
Total Obama 181/400 45%
McCain - strong 127/400 32%
McCain - not so strong 26/400 7%
Undecided - lean McCain 8/400 2%
Total McCain 161/400 40%
This is how it's done, folks. This is how you get a mandate - a real mandate, not the imaginary mandate Bush claimed in 2004. If we want universal health care, expanded FMLA and a constitution that's actually intact, we push into the red. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.