The Swing State Nominees

It’s a pundit’s favorite two words in every Presidential election: swing states. They’re the tricky ones – states that get pandered to, fought over, and generally campaigned hardest for. In this election, like every recent Presidential election, wining coveted swing states like Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia to name a few, will almost surely mean winning the White House. One strategy for winning swing states is for a candidate to pick a running mate from there – trying to cash in on a “native son” appeal that person may have. Today, I’m going to take a look those three states (well, two states and a commonwealth) and see how they factor into Barack Obama’s choice for a Vice Presidential nominee.

Indiana: the last time a Democrat won the Hoosier state was 1976, but this year, the (very helpful) polling blog shows Indiana as a toss-up, and one of the top contenders for the veep spot is Senator Evan Bayh. Bayh served as Indiana Governor from 1989-1997, and has been in the Senate since 1999, giving him the kind of experience many believe necessary to counter claims that Barack Obama is inexperienced. His popularity in Indiana could extend throughout the midwest, possibly helping Democratic popularity in bordering states like Ohio and Michigan, and Bayh’s original support of Hillary Clinton could be benificial in wooing some of her voters if they are still reluctant to switch.

Ohio: this state would be an attractive prize in November. Its 20 electoral votes decided the 2004 election, and (again according to the state is leaning blue this time around. However the chances of seeing an Ohioan  on the ballot dropped dramatically with Governor Ted Strickland’s emphatic dismissal of VP rumors, “Absolutely not. If drafted I will not run, nominated I will not accept, and if elected I will not serve.”

Virginia: again, I keep coming back to the commonwealth. The state that used to be part of the solid south is now anyone’s game, and seeing a Virginian alongside Obama on the Democratic ticket is still a posibility despite Jim Webb removing himself from the contest. Governor Tim Kaine would probably guarentee the state for Obama, and given the Kaine and Obama’s good relationship (Kaine was one of the first politicians to endorse him back in February of 2007), they could be a good match. However, Kaine’s pro-life stance will hurt his chances. Galen Savidge (“Savidge for America’s” chief political/alternative rock knowledge source, better known as my brother) said this will be the question to ask Kaine: if given a 50-50 tie in the Senate, he would cast the deciding vote on a pro-choice Supreme Court nominee – could he confirm that justice? If he couldn’t, he won’t be Obama’s Vice President.

So these are just three of this year’s swing states – but keep this in mind. In 2004, John Kerry selected John Edwards to be his running mate, and the Democrats didn’t carry his home state of South Carolina or the state he represented, North Carolina. Make sure to come back tomorrow as I (somewhat blatantly plagarize Sports Center…) play some election “Fact or Fiction.”


One Response

  1. […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by garpo on 2008-09-16 The Swing State Nominees – bookmarked by 3 […]

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