Sunday, September 12, 2004


Ohio election geography strategy

The Columbus Dispatch and the New York Times have must-reads if you want to know what it's going to take, strategy-wise, for Kerry to win in Ohio. Although everyone should read these [warning - the NYT piece repeats the same garbage about the Gallup Poll showing a 6 pt Bush lead among Likely Voters instead of using the more accurate one-point margin among Registered Voters], here are some important pieces from the two that only make sense if you read the two articles together.

First, from the NYT's esteemed R.W. Apple Jr:
"Robert T. Bennett, now in his fifth presidential race as the Ohio Republican chairman, predicted that 'trench warfare, down at the grass-roots level' would continue right through Election Day, with a close finish the most likely outcome."

The second, from the Dispatch's esteemed Joe Hallett and Darrell Rowland:
"[In 200] Bush won 72 of 88 counties. Significantly, 23 Ohio counties went from the Democratic column in 1996 to the GOP column in 2000. None went the other way.

"While Gore dominated Bush in the Big Six [urban areas - Toledo, Columbus, Dayton, Akron, Youngstown and Cleveland] by 9.5 points, Bush more than made up the difference in the other 82 counties, winning them by 13.25 points. These counties tend to be the bations of conservatism that represent Bush's base in 2004.

In other words, Kerry can't win in the cities, alone. When Bennett talks about doing grass-roots level warfare, he is talking about places like Fostoria, Lima, Chillicothe, St. Clairesville, Logan, Xenia, Piketon, Portsmouth, etc.

And then there's the message crafting for these areas . . .


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