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June 1, 2004


Battleground States

The complexity of this year's campaigns for President and Senate seats is generating some controversial strategy in battleground states. Especially because, depending on which election you're looking at, the list of battleground states varies. States like Washington, South Dakota, and South Carolina that aren't considered uncertainties in the Presidential race have Senate elections that the Washington Post describes as "potentially competitive." Many of these Senate battleground states are not expected to vote for Kerry, leaving Democratic Senate candidates in a tricky position: do they align themselves with Kerry's agenda, or give themselves a better chance of winning a vital Senate seat by supporting more conservative issues? Inez Tenenbaum, who is running as a Democrat for the South Carolina Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Ernest Hollings, has sided with Bush on issues like the death penalty, supporting the war in Iraq, and banning same-sex marriage. Democratic political strategists have to weigh the value of gaining more Senators from otherwise red states against eroding party unity.

Changing demographics in the South are one cause of increased Republican victories in recent years, but Kerry's campaign managers have decided to target Virginia, which hasn't voted Democrat in a Presidential election in 40 years, for advertising. In this case, more and more liberal Washington residents have moved into Virginia suburbs, and Kerry hopes that his military background will appeal to veterans living around Virginia's naval bases. The Guardian reports a Zogby poll showing that Kerry leads in 11 of 16 battleground states, though Zogby and the Washington Post use different lists of battleground states. The Wall Street Journal also offers a list of battleground states (they have 17) as part of their newly-launched Electoral College Calculator, which helps you understand the numerical strategy behind focusing on key swing states (tx ADM.) All this mudslinging and negative advertising is pretty far removed from our daily lives here at Amy's Robot: neither candidate is bothering to waste much of their money in boring old blue New York.

categories: Media, Politics
posted by amy at 12:21 PM | #