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How bad is it for John Kerry in those states that had been identified as "battleground"? So bad that even R. W. Apple notices that Kerry has made himself scarce in Missouri, a state previously considered ripe for plucking from Bush's 2000 victory list:
Is Missouri a swing state that has already swung? So it seems to many people here on the eve of the first presidential debate. John Kerry has not visited the state in nearly three weeks and may not be back, local Democrats say, until the second debate, scheduled for Oct. 8 at Washington University in St. Louis. This is no accident of scheduling. ...
Early on, the Kerry campaign poured advertising dollars into the state. From March 4 to June 20, St. Louis and Kansas City ranked among the nation's top 10 cities in terms of television spending by the two sides, according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which tracks such matters. During that period, the average Kansas City household saw presidential political commercials roughly 280 times.
But ever since the Kerry strategists decided to omit Missouri from their major advertising purchase after the Republican convention, the intensity of combat has diminished. Though the reasons for the change in strategy are not clear, politicians of both parties in Missouri took it to mean that Mr. Kerry's advisers thought it unlikely he could prevail here.
Right now, Kerry has his hands full trying to hang onto the states that Al Gore won last time out. States like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota show either a dead heat or a lead for Bush. Even though the DNC has poured money into Missouri to fill the gap, voters and politicians have noticed Kerry's absence.
John Kerry needs to show up in the Show Me State if he expects to compete.
UPDATE: Now that the storms have settled down, polling in Florida has started. Power Line notes that Gallup shows Bush up by nine in a non-corrected sample and Rassmussen shows Bush up by four in a corrected sample. Perhaps Kerry may start campaigning by proxy there as well ...Sphere It View blog reactions
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