exercises in compound storytelling

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Barack Obama in Espanola Thursday

I heard on the local news this morning that Barack Obama will be in Espanola on Thursday. It certainly makes sense for him to visit New Mexico: 538 has the state as a toss-up today; last week it was shaded in favor of Obama but it has gradually drifted to undecided as more polling data has come in.

I'm perplexed as to why he's visiting Espanola, of all places. He'd see more people in Albuquerque or even Las Cruces, and Santa Fe would go nuts for him. He wasn't popular during the campaign for the nomination: for some reason the Espanola area and the surrounding county is still populated with largish, wooden, hand-painted signs supporting Hillary Clinton. Further north I actually saw signs that said to vote for Hillary because "she's the smarter candidate." Not the smarter choice, but the smarter candidate. These may have been holdovers from when our governor, Bill Richardson, was still in the race, but I rather doubt it: that's not how things are typically done in northern New Mexico.

I suspect Senator Obama will be symbolically if not directly confronting a racial issue; black people have not historically been welcome in northern New Mexico towns. Good for him, and good luck to him.

I would still bet on New Mexico going for Obama; the state was very close in the last two Presidential elections, and this year we're expecting a Democrat to win our open Senate seat and I think all three Congressional seats (all also open) are expected to go to Democrats as well, and given that today we have two Republican Congressional representatives and one Republican Senator, that's a clean sweep downticket.

John McCain came south to Albuquerque from Minneapolis to proclaim himself to be different from George W. Bush immediately after the convention; I'll be surprised if we see him again.

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