How Obama Can Win Battleground States: This Election Year, Each of the 17 Battleground States in Play Has the Potential to Determine the Next President, and Each Requires Distinctive Strategies to Win over Its Electorate, Black Enterprise Sconsulted with Political Pundits and Insiders to Outline What Barack Obama Must Do to Claim These Electoral Votes

By Hocker, Cliff | Black Enterprise, November 2008 | Go to article overview

How Obama Can Win Battleground States: This Election Year, Each of the 17 Battleground States in Play Has the Potential to Determine the Next President, and Each Requires Distinctive Strategies to Win over Its Electorate, Black Enterprise Sconsulted with Political Pundits and Insiders to Outline What Barack Obama Must Do to Claim These Electoral Votes


Hocker, Cliff, Black Enterprise


MONTANA

ELECTORAL VOTES: 3

Drive voter turnout in Montana's more populated, booming West. Maximize this newcomer-attracting region's registration of Democrats and Independents. Focus on education, cherished both East and West. Bypass the economic message--the state is prospering. Downplay land, gun, and social issues. Be himself and forget the cowboy hat.

NORTH DAKOTA

ELECTORAL VOTES: 3

Wedge into the usual Republican presidential vote with support for the state's all-Democrat congressional delegation. Blast high fuel and food prices, Pledge getting the job done in Iraq and bringing troops back home to a state proud of its high rates of military service. Keep under-30 voters excited and make sure they get to the polls.

NEVADA

ELECTORAL VOTES: 5

Keep the base energized now that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. Play a solid ground game to boost the usual weak turnout among Nevada's main concentration of Democrats in Clark County (Las Vegas), and rally supporters in northern Nevada. Visit new voters and keep them ready for November polls. Focus on the economy, especially take-home pay and Nevada's battered housing market.

COLORADO

ELECTORAL VOTES: 9

Use his appeal to mobilize young people to vote. Colorado's abundant, well-educated, under-30 set support him but have a poor track record of showing up at the polls. Also, connect with Latino voters, whose turnout rates are typically below that of other voter groups. In Colorado Latinos comprise 20% of voters, a considerably larger minority voting bloc than African Americans.

NEW MEXICO

ELECTORAL VOTES: S

Reach people with substance as well as symbolism. Deliver a clear, moderate, pro-business message appealing to western-style conservative Democrats. Emphasize his background, character, and values. Campaign vigorously for the Hispanic vote that supported Hillary Clinton, particularly since one-fourth of New Mexican voters are Hispanic.

WISCONSIN

ELECTORAL VOTES: 10

Get mainstream voters comfortable with him. Deliver an understandable and memorable economic message addressing jobs, high gas prices, and the economic crisis facing the nation. Reframe the core issue of the campaign to the economic survival of the middle class and the competitive position of the United States in the global economy. Propose job-creation opportunities for low-income people. Address healthcare and education. Mobilize young people to promote his campaign and show up at the polls.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

IOWA

ELECTORAL VOTES: 7

Work closely with Hillary Clinton supporters and gain their backing. If he cannot get the Hillraisers' support, his chances of winning here are slim, because Iowa can swing both ways.

MISSOURI

ELECTORAL VOTES: 11

Follow the strategy Democrat Claire McCaskili devised to win her U.S. Senate seat in 2006: vigorously campaign in overwhelmingly white, rural GOP areas, especially outstate Missouri to pick up much-needed votes, even if he doesn't win a majority of them. Do well in St. Louis County, and attract more voters in St, Charles County, a St. Louis suburb that tends to swing Republican but is still viable. Keep hammering the Republicans on economic issues.

MICHIGAN

ELECTORAL VOTES: 17

Register new voters, expanding the electorate. Focus on Michigan's No. 1 issue: an economy that has lost 128,000 motor vehicle and automotive parts jobs over the past 12 months. Galvanize predominantly male, unionized workers by promising green-collar jobs and reviving the auto industry with tech-driven, energy-efficient cars produced in the USA.

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How Obama Can Win Battleground States: This Election Year, Each of the 17 Battleground States in Play Has the Potential to Determine the Next President, and Each Requires Distinctive Strategies to Win over Its Electorate, Black Enterprise Sconsulted with Political Pundits and Insiders to Outline What Barack Obama Must Do to Claim These Electoral Votes
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