Five places McCain should go

Cross-posted at The Electoral Map and promoted by Soren

Politico's Charlie Mahtesian and Amie Parnes wrote an article yesterday about the "Five Places Obama Should Go," and four out of the five areas they identified were places where he struggled against Clinton: Broward County, FL (Jews), Youngstown, OH (blue-collar, gun-owning Catholics), San Antonio (Latinos) and Mingo Couny, WV (“the heart of the anti-Obama belt").  The fifth suggestion -- Maricopa County, AZ -- was clearly aimed at McCain.

If four out of the five places Obama has to go are aimed at shoring up his base, it means he still has plenty of loose ends to tie up from the primary before he starts trying to win over independents and Republicans. 

With that in mind, where are the five places that McCain should go?

This is a tough one, since most of his weaknesses seem to be more personal (age, speaking skills, Bush) rather than geographic. Still, I think visiting areas where Obama is vulnerable and putting him on the defensive would be a smart move — So, how about:

  1. Ohio River Valley Tour -- From Pittsburgh to St. Louis -- When it comes to the Ohio River Valley, the bad news for the GOP is that the party's brand is in poor shape in this border region and has been resulting in substantial loses on the congressional level (think PA-04, OH-18, KY-03, IN-08 and IN-09, and the near-miss in OH-02).  The good news for the GOP is that Obama is very unpopular here and was pummeled by Hillary in the primaries.  In one trip, McCain could hit competitive areas in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri, while also challenging the myth that Kentucky could become competitve and even making a symbolic swing through the Land of Lincoln.
  2. Fairfield County, Conn. -- A campaign stop with New York-area Jews and Joe Lieberman would inevitably shine a light on Obama's comments about Iran and would fan media speculation that the state could become competitive.  And Henry Kissinger lives in Kent, an hour up the beautiful Housatonic Valley from Fairfield County -- perhaps he could lend an opinion on Obama's foreign policy?
  3. Northern Suburbs of Milwaukee, Wis. -- The suburbs will be key nationwide and Wisconsin is a vital target state for the GOP. The north and west 'burbs of Milwaukee also “remain overwhelmingly Republican,” notes Democratic pollster Paul Maslin. But “If Obama can crack them to any degree he probably wins the state by several points.” Besides shoring up support with voters, a McCain appearance in the “Beer Capital of the World” would also remind the media that he’s the beer track candidate and Obama is the wine track one. It would also be smart to campaign with fellow Teddy Roosevelt Republican Tommy Thompson.
  4. Grand Rapids — Michigan might be Obama’s most blue vulnerable state and Gerald Ford’s hometown is at the ideological intersection of what Patrick Ruffini once called "the real dividing lines of" the GOP primary -- wealthy suburbanites, religious conservatives and Ford-like mainline moderates. A smart sidekick would be Mitt Romney, who beat McCain in Grand Rapids by a 38-31% margin.
  5. Iowa, Early and Often — Iowa might be McCain’s most vulnerable state; he clearly has never built much of an operation here. He needs to visit Iowa… repeatedly.

Thoughts?

 

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Comments

Not sure that I agree

Where is the Southwest?

My hunch is that Oakland County is more important than Grand Rapids, both in terms of votes and swinginess. GR's conservative Dutch community will vote and in droves for McCain.

Southwest

Soren, that's a good call -- an honorable mention would be a campaign stop to talk about border security in New Mexico.

Indiana - already getting Obama ads

Haven't seen any yet, but it was on the news that Obama has placed ads on TV here in Indiana.  First time a Democrat Presidential hopefull has run an ad in Indiana.

Oh, and from informal polling with family, a good anti-Obama message would be "We don't need a typical Chicago politician in the White House."

It also shouldn't be to hard to find examples of legislation that he voted for (or against) that run counter to the values "Accountability, self-reliance, love of country, working hard without making excuses," that he's touting up in his commercial.

Michigan Michigan Michigan

There is alot of regard for McCain in the Wolverine state.  I don't think he needs Romney.  It's becoming apparent to wolvereins that Obama is Granholm without the dress.  They hear Kilpatrick stories everyday. Obaam has been tot he st 3 times laready.  Internal polls must look bad. Mccain will win this st going away. 

ANWR

After seeing it:  "That's no grand canyon"

Could be sign of weakness

If McCain has trouble in the Milwaukee burbs it's a sign of general weakness. Waukesha and Washington Counties are some of the most Republican in the nation. They counter the big piles of votes Democrats get in Madison and Milwaukee, making the Fox River Valley and Western Wisconsin the swing areas. McCain should campaign in the Milwaukee burbs simply because he'll get the warmest reception, best video, can raise money, and get volunteers. But if his support there is not as strong as with President Bush that will tell me he's have problems all across the country.

Colorado is more important than CT

and I live here.

Methinks a bus tour of smaller eastern slope cities (Colorado Springs; Ft, Collins; Pueblo, Greenley) is going to be needed to offset the yuppie lefty vote out of Denver, Boulder and Aspen.