It's time for a Tour de McCainobamacorn sequel.
Here is a quick review of what we're doing...
In order to determine where the candidates think this race will be won, we have to review two things...1) where the money is going and 2) where the candidates are going. Since others are taking it upon themselves to follow the money, I'll focus on following the candidates.
For our purposes, we'll worry less about the dates the candidates travelled and more about quantity of days spent and where they were. Oftentimes candidates had more than one rally in a state, and in those instances time in the state was only counted once (provided it was all on the same day). So as you read our listing below, each time a state is listed that means one day spent there by the candidate. Time spent in non-swing states for non-media purposes(such as fundraising) is not counted. Tracking continues this week beginning on Thursday, October 16th through today...Monday, October 20th. The data is obtained via Mark Halperin's daily blog.
As you'll recall from our last review, McCain/Palin were conducting quite a bit of defense with some surprising offense. There also was a severe lack of visitation to CO and NV, two states which have been trending towards Obama but are absolutely required for McCain if he intends to win this thing. Obama/Biden were mostly on the offensive, but were spending some time in PA and NH indicating a concern. The focus by both campaigns on PA seemed interesting based on the public polling we've seen. This infers internal polling in both camps shows the race closer than we may see it.
But enough of this...let's take a look at where the hell they've been.
Obama: NH, VA, MO, NC, FL
Biden: NM, NV
What do we learn from this strategy? Well, it's pretty straightforward. Obama is virtually ALL offense. The only events one can see as defensive are NH, NM and WA. The rest of these events focused entirely on must-win states for McCain...MO, NV, VA, NC and FL. In particular, VA, NC and FL are going to be interesting states to watch. These east coast states will be among the first to announce their results on election night. If any of them go down, it's over.
McCain: PA(x 2), FL, NC, VA, OH, MO
Palin: ME, NC, OH, IN, PA, NM, CO, NV
McCain/Palin hit the trail pretty intensely these past few days...and for the most part, hit all the right states. Once again, PA was a focus of both campaigns. Considering no public poll has been within 10 points since the end of September I can't say I totally get this strategy. Maybe it's some internal poll...but take a look...this doesn't exactly inspire optimism. Of course, neither does this.
It's unfortunate any time needs to be spent in NC or IN. Those should be completely secure, but since they are not I'm glad to see time being spent there. But what makes me happy is that Palin is finally being allowed to go out to CO and NV today. The campaign has ignored those states much too long and the CO polls have shown a widening gap favoring Obama. I imagine Palin plays well to Colorado constituents, so hopefully that will help things out a bit.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates...