Purple in Theory, Blue in Practice?
You may have seen the new Time/CNN battleground state polls out yesterday, including the results for New Hampshire, where Barack Obama leads John McCain, 51% to 45%. Obama’s single digit lead over McCain in the Granite State is similar to his position before the two party conventions. What I find particularly interesting with these results is that at a time when some polls show the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket moving key demographics like blue collar voters, women and independents toward McCain in significant numbers, Obama is still holding firm with these groups in New Hampshire.
This raises the possibility that New Hampshire, for all of its swing state cache, is actually becoming more safely Democratic than toss-up in its electoral outcomes. In recent years, we have seen big Democratic victories in the state at virtually all levels of government, party registration outpacing Republican additions (and now approaching parity), and more independent voters choosing a Democratic ballot in the presidential primary.
I am speculating a bit here, and it is certainly possible that the New Hampshire poll will eventually reflect the same shift toward the Republican ticket we are seeing elsewhere, especially once McCain brings his post-convention road show to our neck of the woods. But it would be quite an irony, if McCain ends up losing a state in the general election whose primaries have been so central to his rise to national prominence over the past decade.
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