Crist Sticks In The Shiv.

Early voting hours expanded in Florida.

What’s the catch, they ask? Why would the Republican governor of Florida do this when early voters so far are for Obama 60-40? This is the state of the 2000 election and hanging chads and Katherine Harris. This can’t possibly be good for Democrats, right?

Wrong. It’s possible he thinks this will somehow improve Republican turnout. But in reality, the point is to strengthen his approval with independents and Democrats in Florida by looking non-partisan and using it as a base to launch his 2012 presidential campaign.

It’s also a giant “FUCK YOU” to John McCain for not picking Crist, who like Tom Ridge and even Joe Liebermann, have started making public statements that seem to show that they understand reality and thought the Sarah Palin pick was a disaster.

Let’s just think about the map with Florida solid red. Does Obama still win? Probably, but Florida is an expensive state to defend, and with McCain’s limited funds, he could have used that money to do a better job in Colorado, Ohio, AND Indiana. Let’s say he picked Ridge and made Pennsylvania at least competitive. Same deal with the cash. What about the electoral votes? It would have forced Obama to control Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada (or Florida). Liebermann also probably would have sealed up Florida (but probably not Connecticut, given his current standing there). 

Am I reading too much into this? Maybe, possibly. But it’s starting to look to me like Crist is going to try the “fresh face” popular governor moderate approach and be the Bill Clinton of 2012, against the Paul Tsongas (i.e. old line liberal) of 2012, Sarah Palin.

That means Democrats need to start fucking this guy up on Nov. 5.

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Blacks Tuned In to the Election

Interesting breakdown of the viewership of the conventions: blacks were more likely that any other ethnic group to watch both conventions.

This appears a bit odd at first glance. There is an obvious reason for blacks to be especially interested in the Democratic Convention this year, but why the intent viewership of the Conservatron convention? There are barely any black Conservatrons to speak of — nary a black Senator, Congressperson or Governor amongst them. Why the viewing pleasure of a party whose electoral base in the South is the direct result of a backlash against the Civil Rights movement?

As is so often the case, the answer lies in an ice hockey allegory. During the playoffs, so long as my Devils are in it, I am intent on “other” hockey. The instant the Devils get eliminated — ahem, if they get eliminated — I could care less about the rest of the tournament. Even watching it makes me mildly ill. With the Devils still kicking, watching “other” hockey isn’t entertainment. It’s data collection. It’s hoping for triple overtimes and twisted ankles. It’s analyzing how the Devils will stack up to the other teams.

I suspect that this is what viewing the Conservatron Convention was for the overwhelming majority of blacks that will vote for Obama. They wanted to view what the opposition was bringing to the showdown to better understand their guy’s chances.

Even with Democratic registration gains Obama will probably lose some Kerry votes. Some of this may be racism. Some of it may be moronic PUMAism. Some of it is random. The key to an Obama victory is expanding the electoral pool to include more blacks, young people, and independents, to go along with workhorse liberals, Unionists, and the rest of the Democratic Base. The strong interest of blacks in both Conventions is a sign that this key demographic is concentrated on the race and will get itself out to vote.

Kerry lost Florida by about 380,000 votes. According to David Plouffe there are 600,000 registered blacks in Florida that did not vote in 2004….