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October 31, 2008
Notes from a battleground state
The following comes to us from a GOP campaign worker in a heavily-contested battleground state. I know this person well, and trust him or her. The campaign worker wrote me:
"This is an amusing document that was sitting on the desktop of a public shared computer in the lobby of my hotel in [city name]. I came across it while using the computer to print something else for work.
"I assume a Democrat wrote it."
American Thinker cannot vouch for the authenticity of this document. But we find it amusing, as did our source.
Bad News from the Keystone State
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is something that I want all of my blue state friends to know before it's too late, and I'm not sure who else is going to tell you.
I CAN'T SEE HOW OBAMA CAN WIN PENNSYLVANIA.
I know, conventional wisdom says that the Democrats have the state in the bag. But turn off CNN, stop basking in the warmth generated by SNL, the Daily Show and Colbert Report and take five minutes to check this out.
I just spent the night in Bethlehem, where this video was shot less than two weeks ago, outside of a McCain-Palin rally. Although I live in Pittsburgh, I've been spending a lot of time traveling and talking to people in south west and now south east PA for my job. It's really not a pretty picture at all. I came back in such a panic last night that I've spent the morning crunching numbers and reading political analysis in an effort to convince myself that my perspective has been skewed, that there is a rational basis for believing that Obama will pull through here. And now I'm more depressed than ever.
First, the Obama campaign has been kicking ass in Philly and doing the best that they can in the Pittsburgh area, where the going is tougher. But PA is a fundamentally rural state - meaning a much larger portion of the population lives outside of the big cities. If you add together the entire populations of the counties that include Philly, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton and throw in all of Bucks County for good measure, you still only come up with 3.5 million out of a state-wide population of over 12 million. That's roughly the same population that lives within a 50 mile radius of Bethlehem.
Second, PA is an overwhelmingly white, fundamentally racist state. And I am talking openly, flagrantly racist. Especially in the south west, folks have no problem throwing around the N-word in casual conversation. But unlike the southern states, these white rural folks haven't been solidly converted to the Republican Party. Maybe it's the history of unionism, maybe it was the lack of civil rights issues. But until this election, these rural Democrats haven't had their party allegiance tested by race. These are the "Clinton Democrats", the Murtha Democrats, the Bob Casey Democrats, etc.
In August, I sat in a diner in the middle of Fayette County and listened to an older white man at the next table talk about how he'd always been a Democrat, he supported Clinton but couldn't bring himself to vote for a N-word. But he also made it sound like he wouldn't vote at all, and I took some solace in that, and in the almost total lack of any political signage in the area at all. Let them sleep, I hoped. My hopes were dashed during a three day trip to the area last week, after McCain and Palin had made a couple of swings through the area (Palin was back there, in Coraopolis, while I was in Bethlehem). It's as if the area had been infected with a virus, one with horrible, foam at the mouth, green bile spewing symptoms. Forget about what you've heard about Obama's ad advantage. The televisions (playing non-stop everywhere) were flooded with dozens of Republican affiliated 501c organizations' 30-60 second rants, the worst kind of fear mongering, flag waving trash you've ever seen. The rabid dogs have been unleashed, and they have the numbers. I followed that up with my two day trip to eastern PA and found the virus was if anything in a more advanced stage there.
Out there, you aren't hearing from PA Dems like Murtha and Casey, but I am. They know now they can't deliver their base. They may never get their base back again. While I was in Uniontown last week, Murtha came right out and called his own constituents racist, hoping perhaps that a little straight talk might get people back to just being shamed into not voting. But it's too late - these folks are now fully committed to saving the country from a terrorist loving, Muslim communist. And they will be voting, in enough numbers to outweigh the urban centers.
While I'm writing this, I'm listening to NPR, which just had a promo for "This American Life". Coincidentally, their show this week will be devoted to the political ground war in PA. The brief clip made it sound as if they may have reached the same conclusions that I have. So if you don't believe me, listen to them this weekend.
Why am I telling you this?
BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT NOT TO BECOME COMPLACENT!!!!!!!!
We are so close, so close, to such an important victory. It may be too late for PA, Virginia may be hopeless as well (I just got a very discouraging report from my sister in that regard), but Obama can still win if every Western swing state is sewn up, and things go well elsewhere. We cannot underestimate the power of the hate/fear message coming from the Republicans. We can't leave anything up to chance, or hope, alone.
If you were considering going to Nevada, or New Mexico or Colorado, or rural Washington state, or Ohio, or someplace else to campaign but changed your mind because the polls look so good, think again and DO IT!!!! It's better than kicking yourself for the next four years, and cheaper than moving to Canada. But if you live in California, make sure to take the time to vote AGAINST PROP 8 before you go anywhere.
If you stopped contributing money to Obama because you heard about that massive war chest, THINK AGAIN!!!!! Those Republican 501cs are opening up the faucets right now while the media keeps talking about how broke McCain is.
OK. I feel better now.
I don't know if this purported diary from a disgruntled Hillary supporter appearing in Redstate.com is genuine or not. But it too is amusing, and quite consistent with our document. I heartily recommend reading the whole thing. But this graf is a good sample: