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As Goes North Dakota . . .

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:30 pm - September 22, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

Ever since I was in college, I’ve had a “thing” for the state of North Dakota.  Perhaps it was just the state’s obscurity and isolation.  More likely, it was reading a brochure as an undergraduate on the make-up of the student body at my alma mater (America’s finest liberal arts college, now tied with a, well, a, um, er, our archrival) and learning that every state was represented save North Dakota.

Friends and I joked that perhaps North Dakota didn’t exist.  Just after the youngest PatriotBrotherWest’s 2004 nuptials when I drove to Cincinnati to celebrate with the family, I decided to return via the Peace Garden State and found it quite beautiful.  Given how crowded is the city where I live (and how cluttered my apartment), the open spaces of the Great Plains had great appeal.  And downtown Fargo had a certain charm.

Fascinated by this state which hasn’t voted Democratic since, well, since before Barack Obama could read, I took special note of the news that the Democratic nominee was pulling his campaign staff out of the state.  He once had as many as 50 staffers in eleven offices there.  The McCain campaign had no paid staff and no offices.

As of July 30, the Democrat had spent $160,000 on advertising in North Dakota.  McCain far less.  (H/t Jim Geraghty.)

And despite the Democrat’s expenditures, polls show McCain maintaining a double-digit lead.

Maybe Obama’s money won’t buy him electoral success afterall.  We should also wonder why his campaign felt it necessary to dispatch North Dakota staffers to Minnesota and Wisconsin, two states which haven’t voted Republican since 1972 and 1984 respectively.



  1. GPW I found it odd from the beginning he was spending (wasting) money in places like ND, GA, even Montana. When Hillary had displayed his weakness in reliable Democrat states like PA. It is another example of what someone, especially a liberal will do when drunk with cash.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 22, 2008 @ 5:31 pm - September 22, 2008

  2. Clearly, there are a great many racist in North Dakota. Minnesota and Wisconsin are suspect as well.

    Comment by iamnot — September 22, 2008 @ 5:32 pm - September 22, 2008

  3. Didn’t WI just shift from blue to “Toss-up”?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 22, 2008 @ 5:51 pm - September 22, 2008

  4. In addition to what Gene said, drunk with urban-centric arrogance that makes Obama think that what is important to him is important to everyone. One thing I’ve learned from being hitched to a North Dakotan for the past ten years is that they expect folks to work hard, take responsibility, and help others that truly need help. That just doesn’t quite fit the the Obama “the gubbement is the solution to all problems” approach. My theory is that the midwestern states that are/were Democrat leaning were that way because FDR saved the world during the Depression. The folks that remember that are fewer in number now, and the voters in those states are realizing that they really are conservatives.

    Comment by Hunter — September 22, 2008 @ 5:58 pm - September 22, 2008

  5. While the polls show them neck in neck I don’t think it will look that way when the map is laid out. As a conservative Minnesotan swimming in a sea of liberals I think it might be close this year. Our Senator is running against Mr. Air America who conveniently forgot to pay taxes in some 17 different states. It isn’t even a close race. Our Governor is a Republican, the one no one had ever heard of except for a brief moment before the announcement of Sarah Palin. There are few signs in the yards of either presidential candidate but for other offices the republicans looks like they will stay in office and probably gain some. I think this state might flip.

    North Dakota is ok. South Dakota is beautiful.

    Comment by Jen — September 22, 2008 @ 6:04 pm - September 22, 2008

  6. There was a job opening in my career field in North Dakota last week… with Halliburtion no less… it was SO tempting.

    Comment by V the K — September 22, 2008 @ 6:16 pm - September 22, 2008

  7. I’m from North Dakota and we love it up here!… Just about 3 weeks ago maybe the chairperson for Obama’s campaign here was saying how he was going to be competitive in this state despite being liberal.. While I’ve seen maybe 3 or 4 Obama yard signs I’ve seen, easily, 10 times more McCain signs. In Fargo for sure and maybe Bismarck you may find more signs, hard to say.

    Frankly I’ve never understood why he put so much time and $$ in this state.

    Comment by Karen — September 22, 2008 @ 8:57 pm - September 22, 2008

  8. I’ve said for a few months that BHO has a polling problem frequently refered to as the Bradley/Wilder effect. Racist white Democrats tell pollsters they will vote for the black Dem but in the privacey of the poll they don’t. I thought he was over polling by 3-4 points. Now there is an acutal study that says I was low by almost a factor of two.
    Look at the electorial map a little differently now?
    If BHO is overpolling by 5-6% he loses
    Obama loses Kerry states…PA,MI, WA, MN, WI,NH,
    It also makes NJ and OR in play. He gets swamped in OH and FLA. How exactly does Barack become the next President? His convention didn’t help, his boring VP pick didn’t help. Now the media says, wait, wait til the debates.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 22, 2008 @ 9:38 pm - September 22, 2008

  9. Ditto what Jen said. It’s nice to see another Minnesotan on here.

    FWIW, ND is really flat and not too exciting, but it’s still a nice, relaxing place with wonderful people. My dad’s family comes from there. (It’s too bad that two Democratic senators do as well.)

    I’ve been delighted to see Sen. Obama waste money on states he not only wouldn’t be able to win but also would have no need to win. Considering how red a state like North Dakota is, the amount of resources that the Obama campaign would need to pour into it to win it might be more than, say, the amount needed to win Pennsylvania. (That is assuming that extra money spent will only increase one’s support rather than reach some maximum or even turn voters off.) Why did Sen. Obama do this? I think it’s pride. He probably thought a few months ago that America had become so anti-GOP that rather than just winning, he should try for a 1964/1972/1984 style victory, winning states like ND. He was no doubt encouraged in this thinking by his victories in these red states earlier this year, as if victories over Sen. Clinton could translate into victories over Sen. McCain. Had Sen. Clinton beaten Sen. Obama, I dare say she would now be running a much smarter campaign, focusing on the purple states and forgetting the solid red and blue states. (A 50-state strategy may be wise in pursuing a party’s nomination, but it makes little sense for the general election, given the nature of the electoral college system.) Instead, Sen. Obama seemed to believe that whatever worked in the primaries and caucuses would work in general, with the only difference being that his perceived opponent was no longer Hillary wearing a Bill Clinton mask but rather John McCain wearing a George Bush mask.

    I would still give Sen. Obama at least even odds of winning. If anyone were to win in a landslide, I think it would be McCain, given that he’s been around so long it’s hard to imagine his campaign disintegrating; I think that’s possible for Obama. But I still think Obama has at least an equal chance of winning, given that the MSM obviously has no intention of refreeing this thing fairly and given Pres. Bush’s unpopularity. All the same, the GOP has an extremely good chance of retaining the White House given the flawed nature of the Obama campaign. (Could you imagine how easily the Democrats could win back the White House if they had a candidate who had proven himself at something beyond giving speeches? Mark Warner might not be as good at giving speeches, but this race would be over now if he were their candidate.)

    Comment by cme — September 23, 2008 @ 5:10 pm - September 23, 2008

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