Friday, August 22, 2008

Scoping Ohio (and Indiana)

Since I made my last analysis of battleground states, it still looks like Ohio is the most important of these targets. And a new state can be added to the list -- Indiana.

Indiana is sandwiched between Ohio and Obama's home state of Illinois, and it would be relatively easy to reach both Ohio and Indiana from the main campaign headquarters.

The race in Ohio still looks very tight and I think the campaign has a better chance there than in Florida, although that could change. The Democratic governor in Ohio compared to Florida's Republican governor is very helpful. Both states had some significant voting irregularities in the last two presidential elections.

Ohio is close enough to Illinois for road trips by dedicated Obama volunteers as well as paid staff.

Northwest Indiana is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. People regularly commute between both places especially from Indiana into Chicago for work. Given that Obama's ground support is likely strongest in his home state of Illinois, it is very practical to spill over into Indiana and make a run at this usually Republican-leaning state.

In both states, Obama will have to reach out to very similar populations consisting of working class people who have been hit hard by recent economic woes. Evan Bayh is a good possible VP choice for targeting Indiana, while Gov. Ted Strickland would be logical for Ohio. Hillary Clinton and her husband are very popular with the swing voting segment in these states.

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