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For the last few years I've been talking up the Interstate 29 corridor in political circles. You know, the interstate highway that runs from Kansas City northward along the Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska. South Dakota, Minnesota, and North Dakota borders all the way to glorious Canada. If there ever was a region ripe to turn from red to blue, this is it. We've already picked up congressional seats in the corridor- both the seats in Kansas, one of two seats in Missouri, and the at large seats in both Dakotas. We've also picked up a few governorships including that of reputedly red Kansas, and we've pretty much split the senate seats with the republicons. But that's just the beginning of what's possible as we turn the Red River valley blue and the Missouri too.

It's been less than a week since I dropped by the perky shopping mall Obama campaign office in Jamestown, North Dakota. All seemed well, with the campaign scheduled to doorknock 'til you drop 'til election day. Then I checked the North Dakota event schedule yesterday and found it almost barren. My worst fears were confirmed this morning- all Obama campaign offices were reported to be closing with the staffers shipped off to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

These had been heady times in North Dakota politics, for once a presidential campaign had noted their all dem congressional delegation, state mill and bank, and pervasive co-op membership and figured out that ND might just vote democratic at the top of the ticket too. Not to mention the cheap media markets and three electoral votes in a state with only about 300,000 voters... Minnesota next door has 10 times as many voters and only gets 10 electoral votes.

But Nooooo! Apparently the Obama campaign cannot see the synergies of an I-29 corridor campaign... Seven states with a half dozen or so media markets, all but one (Kansas City) dirt cheap. Three of those states, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota are seriously in play, North Dakota is a second tier state, and South Dakota and Nebraska's eastern congressional district are potentially in play too. From the point of view of a combined campaign, there's at least one race in every state in the I-29 corridor that is a potential democratic pickup. a clever campaign would set up campaign offices in the Kansas City, Council Bluffs/Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, Fargo/Moorhead, and Grand Forks metro areas. Depending how the race is going, the campaign could easily pivot between at least two states from each of those locations- For example, staffers in the Fargo/Moorhead office would merely switch their campaigning from Fargo to Moorhead if Obama's campaign was really floundering in North Dakota and in need of rescue in Minnesota.

But that'd be too simple... I have no doubt that as I write, tired Obama staffers in Fargo are packing up and being reassigned to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area, 250 miles away. Yet not even a mile from the Obama campaign office in Fargo they could be put to work in Moorhead. Heck, I'm barely an hour from the North Dakota border in Starbuck and the campaign is desperate for help here.

I guess the wisdom of an I-29 corridor strategy and similar regional campaign strategies hasn't yet dawned on the geographicly impaired Obama campaign. Hopefully they'll pull this one out and win despite their mistakes...    

Originally posted to SlyDi on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:02 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do you have internal polling data Obama doesn't? (6+ / 0-)

    I guess the wisdom of an I-29 corridor strategy and similar regional campaign strategies hasn't yet dawned on the geographicly impaired Obama campaign. Hopefully they'll pull this one out and win despite their mistakes...    

    No? So why do you think you know better that the Obama camp where resources should be spent?

    McCain is a revolting opportunist with no moral core. So says chumley. I agree.

    by alasmoses on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:06:38 PM PDT

  •  Set up your own voter registration center (11+ / 0-)

    maybe they'll catch on :)

    Ready to go, y'all. -4.48, -4.56

    by pseudopod on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:07:04 PM PDT

  •  Uhhh...polls? (5+ / 0-)

    I think Palin killed our chances in North Dakota:

    See?

    Give me liberty, or give me death!

    by salsa0000 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:08:19 PM PDT

  •  You feel unloved. (0+ / 0-)
  •  ND numbers (13+ / 0-)

    Research 2000 09/16 - 09/17 500 LV 53 40 McCain +13
    Rasmussen 09/08 - 09/08 500 LV 55 41 McCain +14

    Obama volunteers worked their hearts out for North Dakota.  It just wasn't getting them results.  I think the fact that Obama put so much effort into ND showed that he does see the wisdom of the I-29 strategy.  But if the votes aren't there, they aren't there.  Why blame the campaign for a good strategic decision?

  •  Can you pick me up a vanilla latte? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icebergslim

    I'll be passing through on my way to Saint Paul.  Not for Obama, though.  I've just got a good friend who lives in Saint Paul.  Don't worry, Obama will be back right after we...um...they get everyone registered in Wisconsin.  Make that a sugar-free vanilla latte with soymilk.  I have problems with lactose and it's a long drive.

    "I am here because of Ashley." - Unknown Obama supporter.

    by rainmanjr on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:11:16 PM PDT

  •  The reality is this, "We Need to Win" (8+ / 0-)

    as in November.

    If Obama was making headway, he would still be in North Dakota.  We NEED to win Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan.  That is the reality.  Yes, I want a true 50 state plan, but the reality it if we are not making headway, will NOT win North Dakota, we need to move onto states, with our resources, to fight to win these battleground states.

    The polling shows ND will remain in McCain's column.  Be glad that Obama energized a state that hasn't see this for 40 years.  And that he registered new voters to help DOWN BALLOT RACES in November.

    •  Moving assets from ND makes sense- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody

      But not a total pullout. The campaign offices and staff in border towns like Fargo and Grand Forks can stay in place and refocus their attentions on Minnesota, which is right next door. BTW, 538 still shows ND to be as competitive as MN. IMHO, both are 2nd tire states.

      •  Minnesota 2nd tier? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        krwlngwthyou

        You have to be kidding.  Minnesota is a Kerry blue state and we need to win it due to the # of electoral votes there.  It's counted as blue NOT a swing state or a red state.  WE HAVE TO WIN MINNESOTA.  Having the offices CLOSE TO Minnesota but not IN Minnesota would be silly.  

        p.s. like others have said, you are not paid to be a campaign strategist.  There is a BIG difference between volunteering and being a paid campaign strategist.  

        John McCain "Get Off My Lawns!!"

        by FORUS50 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:51:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, I realized that there are absolutely NO (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FORUS50

          FACTS in this entire argument about ND being as competitive as MN or WI.

          I asked the diarist to provide me with some and I didn't hear back.

          Its just all hot air.

          I get that people want a real true 50 state strategy to turn their red states blue, but until I see some facts, this is just ridiculous.

          "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

          by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:53:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  MN is less than a mile from the Fargo office... (0+ / 0-)

          And right there across the Red River is a vote mine called Moorhead, blessed with a couple big colleges...

  •  As my mom used to say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat, karanja, NavyBlueGal

    "quit bellyaching".

    I wish he'd spend time here (AZ) too, but it wouldn't be all that smart and I'm glad he's smart.

  •  My sympathies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Woody, kath25

    I remember when Kerry pulled out of Missouri in 2004 after promising not to.  It was hard.  And it screwed up downticket races that were depending on his GOTV effort because ... well, because he'd said he would do it and they took him at his word.  Claire McCaskill may have lost the governor's race because of it.

    So it is hard.  

    But limited resources and limited time mean that campaigns make decisions that not everyone likes and not everyone agrees with.  

    Follow Missouri election news at ShowMeProgress

    by maryb2004 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:23:11 PM PDT

    •  Should at least keep ND offices open for... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody

      Volunteers and local campaigns to work out of. Another two months rent in ND would be petty cash for the Obama campaign.

      •  that's 2 months rent for another state in play (0+ / 0-)

        which seems wise to put where you can win. He does not have unlimited resources.

        We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

        by MMW on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:27:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  FL alone will cost 39 million. Its not like (0+ / 0-)

        they don't need every last dime they have.

        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:28:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rents in Fargo are way cheaper than Miami. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody
          •  yeah, I get that. Did you read what I said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FORUS50

            though?  They don't have this extra cash to spend around, even if its on "cheap" things in ND.  Not when ND doesn't have the investment return.

            "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

            by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:32:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ND has 3 EVs for 600,000 population! (0+ / 0-)
              •  ground game is worth 4 points max. More likely (0+ / 0-)

                3.

                When he's down by 16, do you really want him spending money there, when WI is within 3 points?

                "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:40:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Will they get as many donations? (0+ / 0-)

              ... from North Dakota now that they've closed the doors in the faces of the donors?

              Many of us in Flyover Land are sick of being treated like ATMs by the national Democratic Party. We were proud to see Obama making an effort in some flyover states like North Dakota and Georgia. Now, not so much. Certainly I'm not planning to make another donation to the Obama campaign. I'll give to a candidate closer to my home, and let Obama raise funds for Ohio in Ohio.

              It is dispiriting to see him quit. And as for the overall effect, well, everybody loves a quitter. So retreat! Retreat! Retreat!

              •  oh my lord. So you want a president of ND (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FORUS50

                then, not of the United States?

                Seriously, your comment is disgusting.  I'd HR you for lack of common sense right now but I'm too tired to be a dick.

                You think your state is the only one with dems who are absolutely sick and tired of hearing about OH and FL?

                NEWSFLASH!  we've ALL had it with god damn OH and FL, who cut their noses off to spite their face every year.

                but until the EC changes, get used to it.

                "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:47:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Met you before (0+ / 0-)

                  Last time we exchanged comments you were wetting your pants over a discouraging poll result in North Carolina, and I was trying to explain how strong the Obama campaign was in NC. Who looks the wiser in that exchange now? Get a grip on yourself.

                  •  well excuse me if I don't remember "meeting you" (0+ / 0-)

                    and wetting my pants over NC (which, btw, I still think will be red this year)

                    I should get a grip?  Maybe you need it, since you like to follow me around to hurl insults after holding some apparent grudge.

                    "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                    by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:03:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If I never meet you again (0+ / 0-)

                      it will be OK by me.

                      Unless we meet for me to collect the bet: We will win North Carolina.

                      So I guess that's the difference. You are scairdy about this election and I ain't.

                      •  seriously, I don't get what you're so....hostile (0+ / 0-)

                        about.

                        I mean, don't you think its a little bit...I don't want to use the word creepy, but I'll use weird...that you remember some comment I made, then bring it up after I tell you its disgusting to stop donating due to him pulling out of ND?

                        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:32:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  and I'll place good money that we do meet (0+ / 0-)

                        again, considering how eager you were to call me out over some NC poll I can't even remember.

                        For no reason, may I add.

                        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:33:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, he is looking to win Presidency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52

    and I tend to trust his campaign staff on how and where to marshal resources - they've proven themselves.

    We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

    by MMW on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:26:31 PM PDT

    •  How long did it take them to defeat Hillary? (0+ / 0-)
      •  that has nothing to do with it. She was being (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew

        irrational and living in denial at the end of it.

        Hell, since March.

        Besides, if not for the long primary, we would not have the 300,000 new dems in PA.

        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:41:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There you are! (0+ / 0-)

          Benefits come from fighting on, not from quitting. Obama gained from the long campaign. He won't gain from giving up on North Dakota or quitting any other state.

          •  here I am? what is that about? nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scooter86

            "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

            by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:48:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's the ghost of Reagan... (0+ / 0-)

              "there you go again..."

              "An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."- James Albert Michener

              by scooter86 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:05:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  apparently he remembers me from some comment (0+ / 0-)

                long ago where I was quote, "wetting my pants" over a NC poll, and decided tonight was a good night to hurl some insults about this event I can't remember, after I told him stopping donations was disgusting.

                so bottom line is, he's following me around so he can say "i told you so" and feel good.  or something.

                "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:09:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You know, (0+ / 0-)

                  it's times like these that I think to myself: no wonder we always get our asses kicked by the Republicans. They aren't all smart or competent, but when it comes to political campaigns, they know how to weed out the incompetents from campaign decision making, and they play to win.

                  Sorry to hear about you "wetting your pants". Must have been embarrasing...   ;)

                  "An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."- James Albert Michener

                  by scooter86 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:15:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  honestly, I don't even remember it. Thats (0+ / 0-)

                    what's embarrassing ;)

                    well that, and, I don't have any recollection of meeting this poster, which would make me feel rude except for the fact that his reply fixed that for me.

                    I don't know, I try to live in a little place I like to call reality...where ND is red?  you know?  lol.

                    (and for the record, I still think so is NC, even though I still don't remember what poll this was that I apparently peed over)

                    "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

                    by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:22:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, he will. (0+ / 0-)

            Back in 2000, Gore was in a tight race. He knew he wasn't likely to win in Ohio and in Florida, so he made the heartbreaking but correct choice to pull out of Ohio and go all-in for Florida. And it was the smart decision, because he ended up being the legitimate winner, until GOP schenanigans took Florida away from him.

            "An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."- James Albert Michener

            by scooter86 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:20:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Primary and General Election different (0+ / 0-)

            Primaries had proportional division of delegates. In General election he could invest money and with hope get 45% of vote and 0 electoral votes.  Could those resources put him over top somewhere else and get electoral votes?

            YES

            We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

            by MMW on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 04:23:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hillary ran a general election campaign... (0+ / 0-)

          Obama is still running a caucus campaign.

          •  evidence of this is where? nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scooter86

            "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

            by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:54:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And therin lies the problem for Hillary (0+ / 0-)

            She ran a general election campaign in a primary, and that's why she lost. In a primary, it pays to compete everywhere. But in a general Election, you have to put your resources where they have the best chance of effecting the outcome you want. That's why we don't run ads in Utah, and that's why we aren't going to contest North Dakota.

            Look at Richard Nixon's campaign in 1960. He pledged to campaign in all 50 states in 1960, and he lost the race by small margins in states where a little more campaigning and resources might have made the difference. That's what happens when you don't concentrate your resources for best effect.

            "An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."- James Albert Michener

            by scooter86 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:04:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Take "them" to defeat Hillary??? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        krwlngwthyou, scooter86

        so are we seeing you as something other than an Obama volunteer.  "Them" not "How long did it take "us"?  How telling...

        John McCain "Get Off My Lawns!!"

        by FORUS50 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:55:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama beat Hillary in February (0+ / 0-)

        when he crushed Hillary in Wisconsin. After that, it was just a slow, agonizing grind to an inevitable conclusion.

        "An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."- James Albert Michener

        by scooter86 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:06:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  WI is too damn close, and the difference is that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, chrismorgan

    WI can turn blue.

    ND can't.

    This was a smart move.

    We here in WI need all the help we can get.  

    "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

    by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:26:40 PM PDT

    •  538 says ND just as competitive as WI or MN. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdManAnt
      •  that is just absolutely wrong. I'm sorry but it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, askew

        is.

        McCain has never once led a WI poll, while he consistently leads by big margins in ND.  Last time Barack came close in ND was during his convention bump.

        McCain is gaining in WI, and trust me, we will be down to the wire again as usual.

        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:29:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But ND is tiny (0+ / 0-)

        MN and WI have more electoral votes.

        •  there is no scenario where Barack survives losing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yosef 52, chrismorgan

          MN or WI.

          We MUST win the Kerry states and flip IA, NM, and CO.

          We cannot lose MN or WI, especially with MI and PA teetering on the edge.

          "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

          by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:31:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, there are lots actually.... (0+ / 0-)

            ...starting with winning, say, both VA and FL.

            But yes, it's certainly better to have a base plan centered on winning states where you're ahead (like MN and WI) than one that relies on upsets!

            •  as another kossack said....yes, there are (0+ / 0-)

              technically a few mathematical scenarios where he survives it...but they are mountains covered in sheets of ice.

              "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

              by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:36:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  MI, MN and WI not teetering. Good polling shows (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yosef 52

            reasonably solid - if smaller than comfortable - Obama leads.  McSlime hasn't won 1 poll in those in the last 3-4 months, has he?  Not to mention that the same day registration of WI (MN too?, or is it other way around?) makes it just silly to rely on polling vs. historical trends, and we win them historically.

            OTOH, PA is too close.

            OTO-OH, I refuse to believe Phily and Rendell won;t deliver it.

            But, God, would you like to wake up 11/5 and find out Obama lost because of a few $s in PA?

            •  both MN and WI have same day registration (0+ / 0-)

              and overall I'd say he is polling stronger here than Kerry was at this point.

              MI, from what I've heard, is going to be something like a 1% Obama win.

              PA I'm not sure about.  I'd like to think the 300,000 new registrants will help, but I also thought they'd help during the primary where we lost by 10.

              "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

              by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:38:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I hear this panic in MN about this time... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Woody, chrismorgan

              In every presidential election. The presidential campaigns get all nervous and start hogging resources, but we deliver MN for the dems every time.

        •  Small states have an electoral advantage... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          loud zoo

          ND with 600,000 population gets 3 electoral votes= 1/200,000. MN with 5,000,000 population gets 10 EVs= 1/500,000.

          •  But there are disadvantages as well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            krwlngwthyou

            Fewer volunteers and many more miles for each of them to cover. A thinner media market, with less ability to precision target voters (and less synergy than the Twin Cities/western WI market.) A vastly reduced chance of the candidate personally visiting to work his magic. Etc. Etc.

            Plus the biggest disadvantage at all: by only going for 3 EVs for himself, Obama is only taking 3 EV away from McCain. Going for the bigger states is both better offense and better defense.

            •  Most of ND dem voters along MN border- (0+ / 0-)

              Which means that media buys there benefit the MN campaign too. I don't have the numbers here with me, but IIRC, about half the dem vote in ND comes from counties along the MN border. Again, the obvious synergies of running a regional campaign.

            •  Wrong about synergy (0+ / 0-)

              Go to the map and see the media market for Fargo/Grand forks. It covers a big wide swath of northern Minnesota. So what's the plan? Pull the plug on ads covering one district on Minnesota because they would also cover half of North Dakota? That gets us big savings where exactly?

              http://www.truckads.com/...

              •  Good points, Woody... (0+ / 0-)

                You are media savvy. BTW, I've worked most of my life in trucking and got the "SlyDi" handle from a dispatcher at UPS. Truck ads are an excellent investment- back when I worked for a private fleet one of the best arguments I had for not contracting out our trucking operation was the value of the company's ads on the sides of our trucks.

          •  SlyDi, I hope you keep plugging away in ND, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody

            on your own, I really do. But Obama has already given the state more attention than any other Democratic presidential candidate in recent history. It really isn't anything personal against ND or any of the Democrats who have worked their hearts out there that he's withdrawn.

            You can really hit the viral videos and viral emails hard. (See my Action page at my sig.) That costs nothing, and you can reach every computer user in the Dakotas if you organize it hard enough. Letters to the editors of your local papers and calls to local radio do a lot in small markets. And you could easily organize your own phone campaign. But we need to elect Obama and Biden for the sake of the world's future. If that means transferring funds to Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, that's simply what we have to do.

            BTW, are your 2 Democratic Senators helping the national ticket?

      •  its going to be close, and I don't see why you (0+ / 0-)

        don't accept that.

        The McCain presence is strong here, even in democratic Milwaukee.

        Stop assuming we'll just come home easily.

        "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:58:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My town - My town! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yosef 52, Woody

    if I had my way he'd be doing the SR 32 corridor through southern Ohio.  The Appalahain Highway.  A place where economically they desperately need him, where they're a bit dicey on the race issue, he needs to go there and ask for their vote, say he knows they're there.

    In the end pocketbook will override race if he does, and if McCain loses Ohio he's done. No if ands or buts about it.  That's where Obama should go.

    And by the way - that's not my town.

  •  they knew their geography last winter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    These states were in many ways the states that pulled him through super tuesday with a tie. It was this area that Hillary overlooked and it cost her. The strong resonance his campaign had in these states never caught hold in the general, but it gave real substance to his campaign during the primaries and this led to success in other parts of the country, so it does seem a little early to be pulling out.

  •  focus on WI and its 10 electors...not ND's ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    krwlngwthyou, wahine

    ...North Dakota only has 3 electors and can't seal the deal.

  •  I don't think we need any more organization in ND (0+ / 0-)

    What's needed is action, plain and simple.  You don't need a ground game when you've got so few people per square mile.

    This is not meant to dismiss what's going on in ND and SD and NE.  But what's important to consider is that, from Minneapolis, you can send people out into the entire upper Midwest.

    I like the decision, though I know that symbolically it's a bit disappointing.

  •  The poster's point is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    TV advertising in Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls and Fargo is an extremely cheap proposition that shores up Iowa and Minnesota and may well have beneficial spinoff effects in ND and NE-2, if not South Dakota.  

    Campaign organizers on the ground in Council Bluffs and Sioux City, IA, Moorhead and East Grand Forks, MN who shore up the ground game in MN and IA can be redeployed across the Missouri River and Red River of the North should MN and IA become sufficiently secure to spare them.  

    And, so the theory goes, pulling out of the I-29 region entirely and pulling staff and TV ad dollars back to Des Moines and Minneapolis costs the Obama campaign any shot at that potential ND/NE2 spinoff without really getting much added value in MN and IA.

  •  Diminishing returns (0+ / 0-)

    At a certain point, you get less bang for the buck spending in a traditional battleground state. What is that point? Is it the 10,001st rating point for a TV ad in Milwaukee or Cincinnati? Is it the fourth visit to Dayton or the fifth, when all news value (man bites dog) has been drained away and it's just another "poodle nips at postman's heels" event? The very fact of campaigning off the beaten track, in places like North Dakota, helped to project the image of change with the Obama campaign. What was that worth in rating points?

    Now Obama is retreating from states as he gives up on them. Same-oh, same-oh, here we go again, just like Kerry did in '04, looking like a loser while falling back to concentrate on two or three big Midwestern swing states. The traditional media will be glad to report this return to campaigning as usual as a sign of weakness for Obama. It ain't worth the puny cost of a couple of dozen field offices and some $15 radio spots.

    And by the way, it seems the retreat is very premature. The decision was apparently made before the Lehman leap in the national polls, and obviously, it comes before we see the results of the first debate on Friday.

    I've been predicting about a 30-state victory, based on economic-models-based forecasting, but I had thought we could do much better, breaking 400 EVs by bringing along GA, SC, WVa, ND, and SD. Now I doubt it. We'll have to be content with the 30 states and about 370 EVs. Very disappointing, but like SlyDi I can live with it.

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