Cillizza has an interesting post about an Obama campaign memo using an electoral map to argue in favor of his electability. There’s nothing odd about using maps in campaign memos — the McCain camp and the Giuliani camp both leaned on maps to push narratives of electability.
What is strange is the map itself.
The Obama camp identified three tiers: “Big States,” “Traditional Battlegrounds” and “New States.” The “Big States” are pretty standard, but I have some questions about the “Traditional Battlegrounds” and the “New States.”
- North Dakota and Montana? Really? There’s a potentially potent mix of fierce independents and civic-minded voters of Northern European descent that might like Obama’s post-partisan appeals, but these states are pretty red in presidential elections.
- Texas? It’s clear that the Obama camp relied too heavily on that bizarre series of Survey USA 50 state polls about a month back. They should know better.
- The mid-Atlantic: Is North Carolina more competitive than Virginia? I would say North Carolina is trending in the same ways that Virginia did in the last decade if anything.
- Washington State: Is the Obama camp just assuming this is a lay-up?
- And last but certainly not least: Where are Ohio and Florida? These two states are Clinton‘s best arguments for electability. Does the Obama camp have a coherent strategy on these two behemoths?
Obama’s Strange Electoral Map — Dark blue is the “Big States,” royal blue is the “Traditional Battlegrounds,” and light blue is the “New States”