Sunday, July 06, 2008

Montana turns blue

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Let's move Florida and Georgia and Missouri back into The Maveprick's column -- the Barr effect is yet to really show up there -- and let's hold off on Indiana for Obama for the time being.

But the Big Sky is turning blue. I give you The Votemaster (with the requisite cautionaries) ...

Happy Independence day, everyone! Flags as big as baseball fields are all the rage these days. And if you are more into auditory than visual celebrations, how about having someone read the Declaration of Independence out loud? It takes only 6 minutes.

Of course the 438,000 people who lost their jobs this year (including 62,000 announced yesterday) may not be so happy. People who own stocks may also not be so happy with the current bear market (the Dow is off 21% from its recent high). And people whose house was foreclosed may not be so happy, either. All this bad economic news is going to make the Republicans unhappy as the economy is overshadowing everything else as the key election issue and poll after poll shows that the voters prefer the Democrats on the economy. Barack Obama has a built-in advantage here because Democrats believe the government should do something. Republicans believe that leaving matters to the free market is a better approach than having government bureaucrats run the economy, even if it means short-term pain for some people. But it is a tough sell to tell an unemployed steel worker in Ohio that soon there will be a lot of jobs for multimedia specialists in California.

We have four polls today, two of them surprising. Rasmussen has Obama ahead in Montana by 5%. That seems very questionable. Let's wait for a few more before jumping to the conclusion that Montana is competitive in the presidential race (although both senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, are Democrats and so is Gov. Brian Schweitzer). The other surprising poll is in Georgia where McCain leads Obama by a mere 2%. Again, even with Bob Barr in the race (polling at 4%), this may not last. But if Obama can register vast numbers of blacks and young people, he could at least make Georgia competitive.

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