Sunday, June 8, 2008

The first step wrong?

The New York Times reports:
On Monday, Mr. Obama will travel to North Carolina — a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 32 years — to start a two-week tour of speeches, town hall forums and other appearances intended to highlight differences with Mr. McCain on the economy. From there, he heads to Missouri, which last voted for a Democrat in 1996. His first campaign swing after securing the Democratic presidential nomination last week was to Virginia, which last voted Democratic in 1964.
If his Monday trip indicates a plan to make a major play for North Carolina, this may inidicate a serious misconception on the part of Team Obama. Here are the percentages of the vote won by Democrats in North Carolina in recent presidential elections:

2004: John Kerry 44%
2000: Al Gore 43%
1996: Bill Clinton 44%
1992: Bill Clinton 43%
Do Obama's strategists think Obama will be more popular in North Carolina than Gore of Tennessee and Clinton of Arkansas?

Has there been an unnoticed revolution in North Carolina politics? Does Team Obama imagine that the brand-damage for the GOP, dissatisfaction with the war, the stagnating economy, John McCain's weaknesses as a candidate, or some combination of all of these factors will make it possible for a Chicago Democrat to do in North Carolina what no Democrat has done since 1976?

Missouri might be a possibility, and it's not entirely crazy to take a look at Jim Webb's Virginia -- although Obama this week drew only 8,000 to the Nissan Pavillion, which seats 25,000.

But North Freaking Carolina? If things are so bad for the GOP and John McCain that Obama wins North Carolina, then the Republican Party predicament is so hopeless that we might as well not even wait until Election Day. Just crown King Obama now.

This trip to North Carolina looks like hubris, pure and simple. Team Obama is thinking back to their decisive Democratic primary blowout against Hillary. Hey, morons: It was a primary. Obama's vote total there was 875,683 -- which is nearly 700,000 votes less than Kerry got against Bush in 2004.

Something tells me that, if Obama loses this election, on Nov. 5 his staffers are going to be sitting around saying to themselves, "North Carolina? What the #*&@ were we thinking?"

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