Other than tracking paid media in targeted states, the best way to determine what states the candidates find most important is to follow where the hell they are going. I’ve been tracking, and will continue to keep track of….
Less important than WHEN the candidates went to swing states is WHERE they went. For that reason I’ll worry less about the dates they travelled and more about how many 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. Time spent in non-swing states for non-media purposes(such as fundraising or debate prep) is not counted. Tracking began this past Saturday, October 11th, and is obtained from Mark Halperin’s daily blog.
Obama: PA, OH(x 2)
Biden: PA, NH, OH(x 2)
McCain: IA; VA, NC, PA(x 2)
Palin: PA(x 2), WV, OH, VA(x 2), NH
What do we learn from this? A few things. Obama and Biden have been playing a bit of offense and defense. Both Dem candidates spending time in PA tells me that the internal polls aren’t showing quite the blowout public polls are showing. McCain and Palin spending 2 days each there would seem to confirm the suspicion. Biden is also playing a little defense in NH where Palin also recently spent time. In my previous predictions I have stated my belief that both PA and NH will go blue, but are vulnerable. The Dems are making a very offensive move(in more ways than one) in Ohio. Seeing as Palin has only been there once during the same time span I believe it’s safe to assume our GOP candidates are a little less worried about it flipping to blue than I am.
As for the GOP ticket there is a fair mixture of offense and defense as well. Besides what is mentioned above there is the continued offensive move being made in Iowa. All public polls show the Hawkeye state going blue, but based on the amount of time McCain/Palin have spent there lately(besides our official tracking) then we have to assume internal polls show a different story. The rest of the ticket’s travels show a lot of defense, with a surprising stop in WV. Hopefully no more time will need to be wasted in that traditionally red state. VA and NC are must wins so I’m happy to see some time being spent there in order to fix what the polls have been saying.
Where I’m hoping to see a scheduling change is to see some time scheduled in Colorado and Nevada. Both are must wins and neither have been visited all too recently. Keep your fingers crossed internal polls show good things there as well.
That wraps up this session of Tour de McCainobamacorn. I’ll be back in a few more days with a new update.