Turning Indiana Blue

From Porter Shreve in the Times:

SIX and a half weeks have passed since Lake County turned in its votes and Tim Russert proclaimed: “We now know who the Democratic nominee will be.” Pundits have studied the exit polls trying to decipher why Senator Hillary Clinton won the primary here by a mere 2 percent. Some questions can’t be answered: What were the roles of race and gender? Did Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” swing the primary?

Two-thirds of Indiana voters said the biggest issue was the economy. In this state, where American flags fly on every block and the most popular politicians have made their reputations in foreign policy and national security, it’s surprising that only 20 percent of voters called Iraq their top concern. But more than 3,100 Hoosiers lost their jobs in April. A retired railroad worker I talked to from Southern Indiana said he used to be a Republican and a member of the National Rifle Association, but after eight years of George W. Bush he could no longer afford a hunting rifle. He backed Mr. Obama.


The dairy farmer who worried about his courthouse roof might be right that the state isn’t likely to go blue for the first time in 44 years, but even so, Mr. Obama’s willingness to commit some of his war chest to operations here would help candidates from the top to the bottom of the Democratic ticket. Perhaps that 50-state idea isn’t a gimmick, after all.

Chances are that Indiana will go to McCain this year. And that’s fine.

I like that Obama is spending here because his campaign seems to think that even if they can’t win Indiana, they can force McCain to spend money here that would normally be spent in real swing states like Ohio and Florida.

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