Basically, Strasma uses a combination of telephone polling and marketing data to develop campaign messages that resonate with swing voters. Strasma was Barack Obama’s national targeting director and played a key role in Obama's success in 2008.
Strasma told Tom Schaller in an interview for FiveThirtyEight.com that Montana is his “number one pick to flip in 2012.”
“I'm very bullish on Montana. It is currently my number one pick to flip in 2012. Energy, land-management and environmental issues are key in Montana and the Dakotas. If, after four years, voters there see that Obama’s policies aren’t the caricatures that Republicans have claimed, we should do quite well.”
Some readers over at FiveThirdyEight weren’t buying Strasma’s analysis. Many readers said Missouri has a much better chance to flip for Obama 2012 than Montana. McCain won Missouri by the thinnest of margins: 49.4 percent to Obama’s 49.3 percent. Montana was a close race, with McCain garnering 49.7 percent and Obama picking up 47.2 percent, but it was a difference of 2.5 percent. Missouri was less than two tenths of a percent.
I found this analysis, by commenter e3323 particularly entertaining:
“…I can not imagine a realistic 2012 scenario where MONTANA makes the difference between winning and losing the whole election.
Like...I cant imagine being up at 2:30AM on November 7th 2012, watching CNN and looking at the magic map with every state in red or blue but Montana and hearing Wolf Blitzer say ‘We still can not make a projection for Montana but with 89 percent of the vote in President Obama trails Newt Gingrich by 1,283 votes, however *zooms in on map* Deer Lodge County, an obama stronghold with a high Native American population, only 76 percent of the vote counted, If these numbers hold up Obama could potentially catch up to Gingrich and win the state and thus the election. Again nether candidate has reached the magic number of 270 but the winner in Montana will be the winner of the election.’”
No i'm sorry...I cant imagine THAT."
Wouldn’t that be something?
e3323 probably has a point. After all, Montana has only three electoral votes to Missouri’s 11. Seems to me the Obama campaign would go after those two tenths of a percent and 11 electoral votes in Missouri before they’d make a hard run at Montana’s 3 electoral votes.
That said, we saw Obama in Montana, what?…three times during last year's campaing? Is his visit to Bozeman next week a sign that he is already taking aim at Montana for 2012? After all, midterm elections are only 452 days away and after that the 2012 presidential race begins.
I wonder if the days of presidential candidates flying over Montana on their way to bigger and better destinations are over. If Obama's 50-state strategy pays off again in 2012, could we be entering an era in which Montana gets to play ball in every presidential election? And what does that mean for Montana in the long run? Discuss...