27 June 2008
We are used to thinking of presidential elections as strategic chess games. We’ve all become used to the electoral vote calculus, so many votes from this state, so many from that. Safe states (like perhaps Minnesota this year) don’t really matter, their electoral votes are in the bag, while others (like perhaps Ohio) are close enough that their electoral votes are up for grabs.
It appears the Obama campaign is trying to tone down the calculus and make every vote matter. They are building a campaign in all 50 states, even those in which an electoral college victory is hopeless or assured. The message is that the popular vote matters, the margin of victory matters. It is not enough to win, Obama wants to win big, to generate a true mandate.
That is nice to see. That could mean coattails to bring along downticket Democrats (though this is not working in Minnesota yet). More importantly, it means that every vote counts, no matter where you are, get to the polls, Obama needs you there.