It's Changing in the Big Sky Now

The Barack Obama campaign just fired its next-day schedule into my inbox. I was a little surprised to see where he's spending July 4.

Butte, MT: THE OBAMA FAMILY ATTENDS FREEDOM FEST INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE IN BUTTE

Montana? The state that hasn't gone Democratic since 1992, and only flipped that time because of Ross Perot taking votes from Bush I? Yes, Montana:

Barack Obama is leading John McCain by five percentage points in Montana. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows Obama attracting 48 percent of the vote while McCain earns 43 percent.

Rasmussen's internals are somewhat gloomier for Obama, but I think that's a function of the questions the pollster asked. Bush is reviled, and oil drilling and free trade are popular. But Montana's libertarian streak makes it, I think, rocky territory for McCain. This is a state that elected a Democratic senator in 2006 who told voters "I want to repeal the PATRIOT Act." This is a state whose governor gave Homeland Security Michael Chertoff a rhetorical kick in the teeth when he opted out of REAL ID. This is, finally, a state whose Republicans gave Ron Paul a quarter of their primary and caucus votes, and where the balance of power in the state House is held by the Constitution Party. Voila: Another state falls off the Republican map, and McCain will have to scramble and spend money to save it.

I clicked over to HotAir, one of the best go-team Republican sites, and a place that follows the polls, to check for commentary on this. The lead story at the moment is about the ridiculous Geraldine Ferraro, complaining about Wesley Clark.

Ferraro has the right approach — a sort of exasperated surprise at how low Obama will go to win an election. It targets his core strength with obvious truth, and it serves notice to the Democratic Party that she will not fall in blindly behind a man she believes to approve smears against his political opponents.

Do I really have to point this out? Geraldine Ferraro's opinion doesn't matter unless you're writing an academic paper on how to lose 49 states. For all the attention they're getting, the dopey, quasi-racist "PUMAs"—most of whom live in safe Obama states!—are irrelevant when a Democratic candidate is flipping a state that went for Bush by 20 points.

Headline explained here.

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  • Work Break||

    Geraldine Ferraro's opinion doesn't matter...

    Which doesn't necessarily mean she's incorrect.

  • David Weigel||

    Which doesn't necessarily mean she's incorrect.

    I probably should have blockquoted the rest of the graf, in which Ed Morrissey mulls the electoral impact of Ferraro supporting McCain. That's what I was mocking.

  • SIV||

    For all the attention they're getting, the dopey, quasi-racist "PUMAs

    American feminists have a long tradition of racism since the earliest suffrage movement.

  • Episiarch||

    Is this really Butte, Montana, or just existential blues?

  • ||

    How many electoral votes does Montana have? Does McCain really need to defend it? What are the odds that the election will be decided by 3 EV?

    Or is Obama just going to Montana to engender breathless "he's going to flip a state that Bush won by 20 points" stories from gullible journalists?

  • Elemenope||

    American feminists have a long tradition of racism since the earliest suffrage movement.

    As there was also a long tradition of misogyny since the earliest days of the abolitionist movement.

    See also: Sojourner Truth.

    It turns out that Democrats all hate each other, and Black Women just hate themselves. ;)

  • Mike M.||

    If Obama does somehow manage to win Montana, then obviously we're talking a major landslide.

    I just don't see it happening though. I wonder how much the "Bradley Effect" is being reflected in many of these polls. I suspect it's a pretty big factor.

  • ||

    Nice Kate Bush reference.

  • Elemenope||

    Mike M. --

    I doubt it. Why would a republican voter be shy about saying they're intending to vote for a republican? There is no implied racism there.

    Unlike in a primary, there is very little need for anyone to psychologically justify their votes beyond policy preferences, because generally the candidates are far enough apart where it is logical to assume a person could have a policy reason for choosing one over the other. A racist would have nothing to fear from the pollster's questions in this case, because if asked why they could just say they like McCain's *ideas* (he does have those, right?) better than Obama's.

  • ||

    If the polls end up looking like this in August, could it help Barr supplant McCain as the alternative to Obama? Nobody actually likes McCain. The only reason the GOP is supporting him is the idea he's their best shot to win. But if we get closer to the election and McCain is still losing Montana (a state everyone knows Barr or Paul would win in a landslide) the whole house of cards comes crashing down and Barr could easily steal nearly all of McCain's supporters.

  • Elemenope||

    FDAS --

    We could only hope. That would be a *much* more interesting election.

  • ||

    American feminists have a long tradition of racism since the earliest suffrage movement.

    Every political movement that existed prior to the Civil Rights Revolution has a long history of racism, except the civil rights movement itself. Heck, certain strains of abolitionism traded in racist ideas.

    In other news, every political movement that existed prior to the 1970s (except feminism, and only some brands of feminism) has a long history of sexism, and every political movement that existed prior to the 1990s (except the gay liberation movement) has a long history of homophobia.

    I heard Jefferson owned slaves, too.

  • Cornholio||

    If Obama picks off 3-5 of these low EV states it fully negates the electoral/popular vote distortion that the GOP has enjoyed for years.

    Montana and the Dakotas have popular Dem Senators/Governors. This election could be a shaping up as a landslide. Dorgan and Conrad are two of the best economic minds in the Senate.

  • ||

    quasi-rascist? can obama supporters not support their supporter without pulling the racecard on any opposers? demanding a fair election (not superdelegate selection) process is racist? demanding fair representation of Florida and Michigan voters (and not non-voters) is rascist? asking for the reform of the primary and caucus system to reflect the basic principle of one person/one vote is rascist? asking for the rampant sexism and not just rascism of this campaign to be acknowledged and denounced by the DNC along with the corruption that occurred during caucuses are rascist? asking the Dem. party to bring us together by fairly and respectfully including Hillary and her supporters at the Democratic National Convention in Denver by, among other things, placing her name in nomination for President, conducting a roll call vote, and providing her a prominent speaking role during prime time on August 26th, the 88th anniversary of women's suffrage is...dare I ask...rascist? you don't seem to know a thing about the P.U.M.A.'s objectives yet you are willing to throw around a word like "quasi-rascist". do you not realize that you are carelessly propagating racism and ignorance or do you not just care? and if you care about winning states, do you honestly think labeling Hillary supporters (many of whom are either important swing state voters or life-long democrats) is going to win their vote in the fall? if so, then you are gravely mistaken, sir.

  • ||

    Obama going to Montana isn't just about Montana, but about the entire mountain west.

  • ||

    rrrrrooowwwwrrrrrrrr!!!

    I don't think anyone is confused about Geraldine Ferraro and the lady who led the fight to keep Sally Hemmings' descendents from attending the Thomas Jefferson picnics, Christian.

  • SIV||

    Heck, certain strains of abolitionism traded in racist ideas.

    It was their raison d'etre!

  • David Weigel||

    can obama supporters not support their supporter without pulling the racecard on any opposers?

    My link is to Harriet Christian, who called Obama "an inadequate black man." Why did she go there? If she doesn't like being called out for it, tough luck.

  • SIV||

    Democrat Party voter racism, with it's long history:), is gonna win this election for McCain

  • ||

    It was their raison d'etre!

    That must be the least approprate use of an exclaimation point since Lamar Alexander ran for president.

    Democrat Party voter racism, with it's long history:), is gonna win this election for McCain

    Funny how there is always something wholly unrelated to John McCain that is going to "win the election for McCain," and how it keeps changing every week.

    God, the Republicans are so f*cked.

  • MJN||

    How are the candidates polling in the dental floss tycoon demographic?

  • ||

    I can just picture a crowd of people, chanting:

    Ray-zon-det! Ray-zon-det!

  • Kolohe||

    For all the attention they're getting, the dopey, quasi-racist "PUMAs"

    They look more like warthogs to me.

  • adrian||

    anyone else think Obama is going to just demolish Mccain?

  • SIV||

    joe,

    Are you giving me an "F" in composition?

    The exclamation point was signaling astonishment at your understatement of the obvious.
    The primary motivation of much of abolitionism was that the very presense of Negroes debased the white population and that ending slavery was necessary to remove them from American society

  • Elemenope||

    I can just picture a crowd of people, chanting:

    Ray-zon-det! Ray-zon-det!


    Me too. They're in France. Chanting while throwing stones, an occasional Molotov Cocktail, and overturning the gendarmes' vehicles.

    For all of our protestations about anti-authoritarianism and individualism, only the French still seem to know how to throw a good riot.

  • Kolohe||

    only the French still seem to know how to throw a good riot.

    I'd give the South Koreans the gold medal in this sport.

  • ||

    "primary motivation" and "much of" are as unnecessarily histrionic as the exclaimation point itself, SIV.

  • ||

    whoops, my bad. That was me.

  • ||

    Now, for some really high-test wingnuttia, you have to argue in the same comment that the South was not primarily motivated by slavery, but that the abolitionists were primarily motivated by racism.

    I don't know, SIV. I don't know if you've got it in you. But I can hope.

  • ||

    son of a...

  • ||

    Obama's going to Butte, Montana, because:
    1) Montana was a major reason Obama won the primary; and
    2) Butte is filled with drunken Irish Democrats, and tossing back a few with them will paint Obama as "one of the guys."

  • SIV||

    joe,

    I think your nomme de plume has been taken by some political group. An Abolitionist one at that!

  • dhex||

    The primary motivation of some abolitionists was that the very presense of Negroes debased the white population and that ending slavery was necessary to remove them from American society

    fixed.

    there's also a huge religious and moral change at that time concerning forced labor.

  • SIV||

    dhex

    "much of" (while connoting a greater degree) is no more precise than "some" but the former has a better chance of trolling joe

    that said, you are correct

  • ||

    It's no more precise, but it is more accurate.

    One makes a true statement in general language, and one make a false statement in general language.

    One overstates the influence, and one does not.

  • Fluffy||

    I'd give the South Koreans the gold medal in this sport.

    Absolutely.

    I saw footage the other day where I swear to God it looked like the SK rioters had uniforms, biochem gear, and vehicles. It looked almost like two armies fighting, instead of cops fighting rioters. Unbelievable organization.

  • B||

    It is amazing how readily some people believe polls that are obviously bullshit. Like the polls that showed McCain winning Connecticut. Or the polls that had Obama winning South Dakota in the primaries. How many polls have to be wrong before people start using their common sense about this stuff. There is no state that a Republican won by 20 points that is going to vote for Obama.
    It is amazing that you would have us believe that a state that supposedly has "libertarian" leanings is going to elect a senator so far to the left, he makes Bernie Sanders jealous. Since when did quasi-socialism equal libertarianism? And you also neglect to mention the reason that Tester won is because he ran to the right of his opponent on many issues, not because he is a tax-raising, entitlement-expanding, the government can solve all of our problems liberal.

  • B||

    "Dorgan and Conrad are two of the best economic minds in the Senate."



    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Let me catch my breath. Ok, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    The above quote has to be the funniest and stupidest thing I have ever read on this website. It is amazing, as stupid as it is, that it was not written by joe.

  • B||

    "If Obama picks off 3-5 of these low EV states it fully negates the electoral/popular vote distortion that the GOP has enjoyed for years."

    Huh? Years? I guess you missed the 2004 election, you know the one where the Republicans won both the popular and electoral vote.

  • ||

    Gee, Other Matt, when did you change your handle?

    Oh, were we not supposed to figure that out?

  • ||

    PUMA sounds like Cougar.

    And that's what they are - a bunch of old bags crying over their lost youth

  • Syd||

    I disagree with the assessment of the 1992 election and think Obama will at least come close in Montana and quite likely carry it. Clinton ran into trouble in 1996 in some of the Rocky Mountain states because of grazing rights and public land issues, and probably mining as well. That carried over to Gore and Kerry lost there because he's John Kerry. Montana isn't Utah and Wyoming, and Obama's not carrying the baggage of Clinton's policies.

    Obama should carry Colorado and New Mexico and if he wins the popular vote by more than 3-4 Nevada as well.

  • Seitz||

    anyone else think Obama is going to just demolish Mccain?

    I do. And I think it's because the polls actually UNDERestimate Obama's support. Democratic turnout is going to be huge. Just look at the primaries. I know that McCain having it locked up suppressed Republican turnout to an extent, but still, Dems were drawing WAY more voters. Don't believe the polls. The models aren't accurate for this election.

  • Other Matt||

    Gee, Other Matt, when did you change your handle?

    Oh, were we not supposed to figure that out?


    Now, joe, you're getting paranoid in addition to stupid, racist, and self hating. I have no qualms pointing you out for what you are and have no need to change sig to do it. Whomever that was, it was not me.

  • ||

    Now, joe, you're getting paranoid in addition to stupid, racist, and self hating.

    If you have a disagreement with joe, that's fine. But you're just insulting and smearing him. You, sir, are an ass.

  • Eric Dondero||

    And this is a State that Mitt Romney won overwhelmingly in the primary, but was ignored by the mainstream media.

    If Montana is sour on McCain, it's only because MT Republicans don't like him much, but prefer someone like Romney as the Nominee.

  • ||

    Art POG,

    Apparently, you haven't had the pleasure.

    Other Matt once wrote a lengthy comment on the subject of how it proves that I am both racist and hate myself for being white, because I said that Condoleeza Rice's diplomatic offensive surrounding the anti-Syrian uprising in Lebanon was well-handled.

    No, seriously.

  • ||

    joe,

    Wow. In all seriousness, wow.

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