I was browsing through the January issue of Black Enterprise, and I was surprised to see a map on page 79 predicting the “states Obama can win in the primaries.” Surprised, because they predicted an Obama win in Indiana but not Louisiana. In fact, of course, the reverse was true.
I think I could have called those states correctly. Those are the two states I know (having lived in both) and to which I pay attention.
Of course, hindsight is perfect, so let me look forward. What about the general election? I think Indiana will not be in play. The Republicans have had Indiana locked up in presidential races for as long as I’ve been alive. Indiana will go to McCain. Easy call. Obama supporters in Indiana might as well not even bother to show up at the polls, because it’s winner take all.
But what about Louisiana? I think Louisiana might actually be contested. There was an article in the Feb. 9th Washington Times which states that Louisiana is “one of the Democrats’ best Southern chances in November” if Obama is the nominee. And I think that might be correct.
That would be interesting. In fact, come to think of it, it would be the first time in my entire life that my vote might actually seem to matter in the conventional sense.
I’ve voted for president five times, three in Indiana, two in Louisiana. In all five cases, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The Republican candidate won the state handily and took 100% of the state’s electoral vote. This was well known and well publicized before the election.
Therefore I never had any philosophical misgivings about “throwing my vote away” on hopeless third-party candidates. I sure as hell wasn’t going to vote for Bush or Dole or Bush. But why bother voting for Kerry or whoever when I knew he couldn’t touch Bush in this state? I didn’t need to bother with those “lesser evil” conundrums. I voted my conscience each time. In fact, I felt the only way my vote could conceivably count for anything was to show support for nascent third parties such as the Greens.
But if Louisiana is actually in play… Hmmm. I wonder if it will be.