Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is Arizona in play?

I wonder if any of you are like me and remember the days when the punditocracy used to wring their hands about Democrats never being able to win presidential elections unless they could make headway in the South. That's why we gravitated to presidential nominees from Georgia and Arkansas.

The 2008 race changed that conversation.

Following Howard Dean's 50-state strategy, the Obama campaign put states in play that had never been considered possibilities for Democrats. Yeah, a guy from Hawaii and Chicago did that.

And now it seems the Obama folks are going to make a play for Arizona.

President Obama’s re-election campaign is dispatching workers across Arizona’s college campuses and Latino neighborhoods this spring, registering as many new voters as they can in an organized, three-month effort to determine whether they can put this unlikely state into play for Democrats this November.

By any measure the obstacles are considerable: Arizona has voted for precisely one Democratic president since Truman was in the White House. Yet Mr. Obama’s aides said in interviews that they thought it was possible they could move the needle of history by winning in 2012 a state that analysts believe is heading Democratic in national elections, but may not be there yet.

Obama strategists are simply following the same techniques they used in 2008 when putting states like North Carolina and Indiana into play. Then, too, there was much initial skepticism, though both states ended up going for Mr. Obama.

Michael Tomsky seems to embrace a traditional old school response to all this when he wrings his hands about the effort and calls it "cocky."

I was telling people months ago, back when Mitt Romney still seemed like a strong and resolute candidate who made liberals nervous and led the occasional national general-election poll, that Barack Obama was going to win reelection fairly easily. I still basically think that. But now I’m jumpy because everybody else, and I mean everybody, seems to think this now, too. And I get especially jumpy when I see signs that the Obama campaign is sounding ridiculously overconfident. There’s a line between swagger that keeps the other side on the defensive and swagger that just doesn’t quite sound credible, and I’m hearing a little too much of the latter.

I was reminded of this by Adam Nagourney’s article in Monday’s New York Times, bringing news that the Obama people are out there talking about how maybe they can win Arizona.

Was he not watching 4 years ago when this same campaign was cocky enough to go after states that hadn't been won by Democrats in decades - and won some of them? No guts - no glory is what I'd call it. As a matter of fact - I'd suggest its the opposite of cocky to say that we're going after every state that might be possible. The clearest sign that Arizona might be one of those is that the conservative blog Real Clear Politics has now moved Arizona into their "toss-up" category.

I say, Go for it Arizona!



  1. Tomansky misses the point. the point is really not whether or not the state is in play, and there IS an outside chance it is, the point is to develop democratic leadership for the future, and force Repubs to defend Repub policies there.

    1. yup, you're right...although i have found forcing anything on another is futile. you should see how my mother reacts! lol

  2. ebogan63 here.
    The point is to WIN ELECTIONS, which Tomansky and too many 'progressives' loose the plot.

  3. AZ in the house...Aquagranny911 here

    From what I see & hear the Dems have a good shot at taking AZ not only for Obama/Biden but for Congress, Senate & local offices. Too many people are fed up. PBO will have the Latino & Native votes, young people, a lot of women & the elders who aren't completely gaga.

    A lot is made of the Mormon vote here & it is a big bloc but even some Mormons don't like the Mittster. They will either stay home or vote for Obama. That's what I've been told by a few.

    We've got a strong ground game here & I say that Arizona is definitely in play.

  4. Of course AZ is in play!!! Any state with Brewer & her henchman would be in play with a formidable ground game which we agree PBO has working for him.

    Also, even with the voter suppression (2004, 2008) not the least is voter ID, they can get enough voters registered and to the polls.

  5. Texas is going to be closer than people think too. I think it could even be a toss up by 2016.

    1. I agree. The challenge is to convince Texas Democrats that they are not alone and that their vote does matter.

    2. I agree also. It is tough to be a Dem when you live in a sea of red but we can't give up. We need to support each other and GOTV. GO TEXAS!!! GO ARIZONA!!!

      Aquagranny911 here...

  6. Mitt Romney is measuring the drapes, divvying up access at his inauguration party for top donors and telling the President to "pack his bags" all BEFORE he has even officially nominated by his batshit crazy party, and Mr Tomsky is worried about Pres Obama being uppit cocky??? Wow, just wow! Somebody tell him 2008 called, it wants its talking point back.

  7. I think it's definitely in play. He's building a structure that will help Democrats at all levels. Walking right in the midst of them. I love it!

  8. If OFA were dropping efforts elsewhere to focus on AZ, then maybe the "overconfident" thing would have some point to it, but I don't see them doing that. There are field offices all over Chicago, which is about as "safe" an Obama stronghold as you'll find. Granted, a lot of the work, as it was in 2008, will be about getting people out to canvass in states like WI, Iowa, MI, etc. -- but building leadership and visibility in all 50 states is indeed a good thing, particularly in states with robust combinations of young and Latino voters and activists.

    1. One of the really important things will be getting out the Latino vote here in AZ. In 2010 many were demoralized by the hate mongering. Some who had family members without papers were nervous about voting lest it bring attention to them. It was duck & cover for too many & they did not vote. GOTV efforts will be very important & must be more focused & effective this time.

      Also we need to spend some energy on our decent Republicans (there are some!) who are disgusted with the GOP & very unhappy with where their party stands now. I've had dialogue with a few & I think they could go Dem. I'll take every vote I can get!


  9. The latest Arizona State University poll (posted on Real Clear Politics) reveals that Romney leads Obama by only two points! People, don't listen to the experts. Arizona is in play and the Latino community will be the driving force of making Romney defend this state.


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