by Jonathan Singer, Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 05:13:39 PM EDT
Gallup polling released last week showed that while Barack Obama is not dominating in the purple states -- he leads John McCain by a mere 45 percent to 43 percent margin in the most competitive swing areas of the country -- Obama is performing remarkably well in the red states. Specifically, in the states that George W. Bush carried by a 6 percentage point margin or greater in 2004, Obama trails by a narrow 46 percent to 43 percent margin.
Case in point: South Dakota. Rasmussen Reports polling out of the state last month showed Obama within 4 points of McCain -- 44 percent for the Republican, 40 percent for the Democrat. Don't believe the numbers? Don't believe it's close? McCain apparently does, campaigning today in South Dakota. Here are First Read's thoughts:
*** Easy Rider? McCain should feel at home today in Sturgis, SD, where motorcycle enthusiasts from all over will be hanging out. But this visit may not be about appealing to Harley voters -- but voters actually living in the Dakotas. Of the red states where Obama has been spending money, the one where he's had the most impact is clearly North Dakota. In fact, Obama's been polling so well in that state, there is speculation the campaign may add neighbor South Dakota to its target list. The McCain camp knows Obama's been gaining some ground in the region, so this event seemed like a way to at least get some local coverage in the Dakotas and see if they can easily snap these states back into the Red column like some in the GOP believe.
Does this mean that South Dakota is necessarily in play? It doesn't appear that the Obama campaign is advertising in the state in a serious basis just yet. At the same time, it does look like the state is potentially in play -- and Obama is advertising in the neighboring states of Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, some of which just might bleed into South Dakota. So this just might be another one to keep an eye on...