Category Archives: Swing States

Early Voting Going Nationwide?

By Matt Knipple

            I decided to concentrate my most recent blog on voting, in particular early voting.  After going out and performing exit polls on the many people that showed up it got me thinking about the rest of the states and how popular or unpopular early voting is.  To my surprise, as pointed out by this CNN article, early voting isn’t even in every state and in some states that it does occur in, you must have a valid reason to not show up to the polls and may have to get signatures from notaries and so on to prove you cannot make the election date to vote.  Here is a video showing people lining up to register and cast an absentee ballot in Ohio.  It was contested by Republicans saying that people may be performing voter fraud:

            In my opinion early voting should be mandated in all the states in America.  I feel as if people were able to cast mail-in ballots and go to the polls throughout the week prior to actual election day, there would be a much higher turnout at the polls and more people would be encouraged to vote. 

            If you click on this link, it takes you to an interactive map of all the states that have early polls and all that do not.  To my surprise, only 25 states have early polling with data available, six states have early polling with no data available, and the rest of the states do not have early polling.  In Colorado, early voting data shows, as of October 31, that 365,054 in-person ballots have been cast and 1,112,782 mail-in ballots have been cast.  That means a total of 1,477,836 have voted so far, which is roughly 30% of Colorado’s entire population, which also means an even higher percentage of actual voters have turned out since the entire population of Colorado will not and cannot vote. 

            Here is another video talking about the early voting going on in Ohio (you may have to watch a commercial at the beginning that sponsor’s the video, sorry).

            After watching these videos and reading the article, it amazes me why some states do not have early voting.  It seems like it would benefit all of the states and the United States as a whole, to have early voting to get more people out.  In states like New York, it would really benefit them as they have a huge, dense population that it seems pretty unrealistic to get all of those people out to vote on one day.  It would be much more efficient to have early voting and it would give America a clearer answer as to who people wanted as a President because more people, in my opinion, would be inclined to vote.

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Filed under Colorado, Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Republican, Swing States, Voter Demographics, Women Voters, youth vote

Obama’s Veepstakes

By Lance Thibert

Seeing as one of our classmates has written on a possible choices for McCain’s Vice Presidential pick, I thought I would take it upon myself to write up a list of contenders for Obama’s ticket. He’s already chosen, but we won’t know  who it is until Saturday, at the latest. What I’ll do is give a quick run down of possible VP picks, their pros and cons, followed by my personal prediction. Also, if you haven’t heard, the Obama campaign will be sending out Obama’s VP pick via text message, a rather novel idea that I hope doesn’t show up at 3 am. I’ve added videos of a few of the VP candidates you might not be familar with.

Senator Evan Bayh

Pros: A strong supporter of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary, Senator Evan Bayh brings red state and swing state appeal. (Indiana is fairly well in the Republican column in presidential contests) Generally seen as a relative moderate in the Democratic party. Evan Bayh could possibly deliver Indiana, which narrowly (very narrowly) went to Clinton in the Primary season. With 11 electoral votes, it could be a major win for a hypothetical Obama-Bayh ticket. Not that that really rolls off the tongue very well.

Cons: Senator Bayh is not well known nationally, and not particularly well versed in foreign policy issues. Obama’s major selling point of being against the Iraq War from the beginning clashes with Bayh’s postition of being intially for the Iraq invasion. Another senator on the ticket could leave a lack of executive experience on the ticket as well.

Chances: Fairly good I would say, Bayh is a strong contender for the VP spot, given his heartland credentials and and strong speaking skills.

 

Senator Joe Biden

Pros: Senator Joe Biden of Delaware’s major selling point is his unquestioned expertise on foreign policy issues. Biden is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and fills a major gap in Obama’s resume. The charge that Obama is naive and inexperienced loses quite a bit of steam if Biden, a foreign policy guru, were to be added to the ticket. Similar cases could be made for Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico and Senator Sam Nunn from Georgia.

Cons: An old plagiarism scandal and a tendency to say…off color remarks may hurt a Obama-Biden ticket. Electorally, Delaware is most likely in Obama’s column already, and Biden seems to have little appeal outside of his state, as seen by a dismal 5th place showing in the Iowa caucus (seems like forever ago). Again, another senator on the ticket lacks executive appeal. 

Chances: Good, the expertise on foreign policy is tough to pass up, but almost everything else seems…mediocre.

Governor Tim Kaine

Pros: Under Tim Kaine, Virginia made the list of Pew’s Top Governed States. The possibility of swinging Virginia into the Democratic column is a tantalizing prospect, with 13 electoral votes. A Governor on the ticket would make a good balance with a Senator, bringing executive experience that Independents are fond of.

Cons: Not well known nationally, as the only major national press Tim Kaine has gotten has been as a possible VP pick for Obama. The loss of a Democratic Governor in Virigina may lead to the office being occupied by…George Allen. (yeah, the macaca guy.) Still, a small price to pay. However the biggest downside to a Obama-Kaine ticket would be that both are relatively new, and John McCain could say he alone has more experience than the two of them combined.

Chances: Excellent, Kaine brings a lot to the ticket without much baggage, and fits into Obama’s campaign theme of change quite well.

 

Senator Hillary Clinton

Pros: Senator Clinton’s appeal to white working class Democrats and feminists make her a powerful force in national politics, indeed, she garnered 18 million votes in the primary she nearly won. Would immediately solidify the Democratic base, as well as end any lingering questions about the democratic self-destruct button. Bill Clinton would undoubtedly be a campaign asset in small-town America.

Cons: Clinton’s primary campaign was by an large, a dismal failure. She was the by far favorite to win until Iowa. Her campaign, rife with infighting and factionalism was a model democratic campaign, in line with those of 1980, 84, 90…you get the picture. Clinton is a demon to the right, which may turn up the until now lackluster conservative enthusiasm. The campaign she ran was anathema to Obama’s theme of change, but that could either be a pro or a con. Bill Clinton would undoubtedly say something off-message.

Chances: Dark Horse. It’s possible, just not probable. Obama holds all the cards, he’s got the nomination, most of the delegate’s loyalty, and a massive war chest. Clinton has debt and baggage, but the Clinton name may be something Obama is willing to pay for.

My prediction: I predict Tim Kaine will be Obama’s vice presidential running mate. Ralph Nader thinks it’s going to be Clinton. If Ralph is right and I am wrong…well lets just not go there.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Obama, Swing States, Vice-President