On politics: A 'Northern Tier' strategy?
I have heard it speculated amongst politically minded friends that Obama
is setting up the board, in the final weeks of the election, to lock in on a 'Northern Tier' strategy. In this strategy, Obama counts on the Western
states -- California
, and Hawaii
-- which are solidly blue pretty much no matter what happens, and then focus on only Northern states
-- from Minnesota
-- to win the election. Specifically, in addition to those two, Obama would aim to win Iowa
, New York
, New Hampshire
, Rhode Island
, New Jersey
, and the District of Columbia
. Naturally, most of those are deep blue, with only Iowa and Ohio being seriously contested, and Wisconsin requiring some effort to win. Added together, this collection of states brings 270 electoral votes, exactly the number needed to win.
Now, this strategy essentially writes off the geographically inconvenient contested Western states of Nevada
, and New Mexico
(though Obama likely will win New Mexico, and quite possibly Colorado, anyway), and more critically abandons the expensive (and always somewhat inconvenient) Florida campaign. Florida is a hard state because it's media
markets are spread across that long distance from Miami
, with Jacksonville
being out of the way as well. This strategy gives up on winning Virginia
and North Carolina
as well, though it leaves those states open to large last minute expenditures if one of them looks winnable come election day
(probably Virginia; Obama hangs onto a slim overall lead there, due to shifting demographics, but has already essentially shuttered his North Carolina campaign). The idea behind the strategy is simple. Forget about doing any more than is necessary to accomplish the victory
, and focus on ensuring it in an even smaller-than-usual handful of truly contested states -- which at this point, from that group, would be Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and possibly New Hampshire. And, focus advertising
dollars and the now-even-more-important campaign appearances (more important since advertising seems to have maxed out its ability to change minds in this campaign) just in that narrow band of close-together states.
The strategy, meanwhile, forces Romney
to go to much wider expense and inconvenience, for he must pick off one of those heavily targeted Northern tier states and still
must spend and appear enough to ensure winning Florida in the East -- as well as North Carolina, and Virginia -- and must win at least one, and probably two, of those three contested Western states. It is notable that Obama could choose one of two other variations on this strategy as well, going after Florida after all, while abandoning efforts in Iowa and Wisconsin, to achieve 283 electoral votes; or going after Virginia and North Carolina instead of Iowa and Wisconsin to reach 282 electoral votes.
Possibly the biggest downside of this strategy -- in addition to the absence of a margin for error
-- is that it would write off any ability for Obama to claim a mandate
in victory, and in fact makes him appear weaker in a second term, for winning with so much smaller of a map the second time around. It would have trickle-down effects into Congress, as well, for Democratic House and Senate candidates in those abandoned states would lose the enthusiasm of voters looking to support a presidential candidate in a contested state. Indeed, such a campaign tactic would much increase Obama's chances of winning a second term, but at the expense of losing the Senate
and so essentially guaranteeing a hostile Congress (though, notably, a Congress which would be unable to do much of anything). So the question of strategy boils down to whether Obama would prefer to all-but guarantee himself a toothless victory where he would serve a largely irrelevant second term; or whether he would prefer to extend his risk of losing in order to claim a mandate and possibly hang on to the Senate.
Question of the day:
What is today's question of the day? How about, 'who want's to post a log today'?
In node auditing news:
-- on page 20 of 27
. 2/3+ there!!
-- on page 3 of 14
, and teleny
are in the queueueue
. Well, I mean, they are