Friday, July 13, 2012

Will Midwestern U.S. send Obama back to White House for four more years?

It’s just a matter of time before the presidential campaign devolves into an attempt to portray Barack Obama as a Chicago political hack unworthy of re-election. Mitt Romney will find some way of using that label – most likely in a lame, nonsensical way.

Which is why I couldn’t help but be amused to learn of the results of a new Gallup Organization poll that studied presidential candidate popularity by region.

FOR IT SEEMS that Obama “wins” the support of Midwesterners. Could it be the fact that Obama is an adopted Chicagoan that makes him seem a little more comprehendible than a candidate who can claim Michigan in his family tree – but really isn’t clear about where he’s from or what his “home” region is!

It would be hilarious to see how the ideologues try to explain the fact that Obama’s origins are his strength, and not a weakness because he’s not “just like them.”

For the record, the Gallup poll had Obama leading Romney on Thursday by a 47-44 percent lead. It’s slim. It’s not going to be a large, overwhelming margin like in 2008.

Insofar as regionalism is concerned, Obama is the preference of the East Coast, while Romney gets solid support from the South – both of which are completely predictable outcomes.

AS FOR THE West and the Midwest, Obama leads Romney in both regions, although by not much. In the Midwest, Obama leads Romney 46-44 percent.

And while there are some Midwesterners who want to view Chicago as a drag on the region, there will be others who will be unable to back a Massachusetts resident who has no chance of winning his own home state.
OBAMA: Regional backing

Indiana is likely to wind up shifting its Electoral College votes back toward the GOP candidate this time around (it really was a fluke that the state went for Obama in ’08). But Illinois could wind up being joined by Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin in giving Camp Obama a base to rely upon.

Heck, even those Cleveland and Toledo voters may wind up overcoming the Cincinnati electorate, which would result in putting Ohio in the Democratic Party column on Nov. 6.

PART OF WHAT is involved in this, according to Gallup, is the fact that non-white people are overwhelmingly for Obama. Which probably means they’re really more opposed to GOPers with their hostile rhetoric and are willing to take it out on Romney’s presidential aspirations.

Which also is what makes it so predictable that Vice President Joe Biden would go for the jugular on Thursday when he spoke in Houston to the NAACP convention.

He got the string of “boos” from the African-American crowd when he brought up the name “Robert Bork” and suggested that a Romney administration would be filled with similar ideologues.

When Biden says the election cycle this year, “is a fight for the heart and soul of America,” I’d argue that we’ll find that “heart and soul” right here in the Midwestern U.S. – the part of the nation that has as its symbolic capital our city of Chicago.

WHICH MAKES ME wonder if the Midwest has become what Illinois used to be – the bellwether that provides a sample for how the election will turn out as a whole!

For as Gallup noted in their poll background info, the only election cycle of the past 25 years where Midwesterners did not support the overall popular vote winner was in 2000.

And we all recall that Election ’00 was truly the ultimate fluke – a set of circumstances we’re never going to see repeated in our electoral lifetimes.


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