Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Golden State

Some pundits and analysts were dumbfounded recently when the McCain camp opened several campaign offices within the state of California. These "experts" simply looked at the fact that a member of the GOP had not carried the state in two decades and the most recent polls had the Maverick trailing by double digits.

Couple of things they overlooked...

-The most recent poll was only a twelve point gap and was conducted on August 14, well before Sarah Barracuda stirred things up and the Republicans had the most successful convention in modern history.

-This is a state whose majority disapproves of President Bush but approves of Governor Schwarzenegger (I believe McCain shares that sentiment to an extent).

-The growing number of Hispanic voters could be easily swayed to vote Republican due to the Maverick's popularity among this group.

-California is made up of a number of small towns whose voters place a great deal of emphasis on family and traditional values.

Perhaps most convincing is a study conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California in January 2008 which truly dissected the political landscape there.

It found a number of interesting tidbits that surely persuaded the McCain campaign to take on the immense task of campaigning in such a state; challenging both in terms of energy/manpower and money.

18% of Californians are registered independents and the vast majority (70%) remain unaffiliated until they cast their ballots. We are seeing Senator McCain's popularity among independent voters grow exponentially and by November he very well may have a lock on these very influential citizens.

Finally the study asked independents to choose a political ideology:
30% responded "Conservative"
31% responded "Liberal"
39% responded "Moderate"

John McCain has been taking flak because he is a moderate Republican; which can play right into these voters' minds. They are looking for a moderate, not a radical lefty the likes of Obama.

The decision to put California in play was a brilliant strategic move and can only produce good consequences.

If McCain loses the state; Not a big deal. It had voted for the Democrat candidate since 1992 and at least the GOP forced Obama to go back and campaign on once solid liberal terrain.

If McCain wins the state; the Democrats lost their biggest piece of the electoral pie, Obama loses the election (no Dem wins without California) and the national political landscape will be rocked to its core.

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