Blogging the Battleground
Forget the polls. They all change every 6 hours, anyway. Forget the national press, too. The media decided months ago what they were going to write and say about the campaign. As for TV cable news, that's nearly an oxymoron. Throw your set out the window and hope a Republican poll watcher is passing below.
What I want to know is, what are local blogs in the battleground states saying? Tracking down state-perspective bloggers in the states too close to call is harder than it should be. Yahoo's 2004 Directory isn't much help. And Google turns out to be a surprisingly cumbersome tool for such an exercise.
Locally based poli-blogs can be fun as well as informative. They're almost always less pretentious than those with a national audience, at least as newsworthy, and often enough they have a perspective that's a little more, well.... refreshing.
Click below for a short, quick sweep. It took longer to find these few local blogs than I expected. I could use some help from readers in finding more.
In the meantime, enjoy --
From a Bush rally in Davenport where the stadium was only 2/3 full, Blog for Iowa reports:
Republican women don't flush. At least, not as much as they should. Three stalls on the left side of the rest room. Only one was flushed. (Please join me in a chorus of Eeeuuuuwwww!)
Somewhat more substantively --
The crowd was much smaller than that at the Edwards rally in Iowa City on Thursday, the 21st, and much smaller than that at the Waterloo airport for Kerry on Tuesday, October 19th. * * * Bush rallies are full of people who are primarily .well . old.
According to Joe Monohan.com Zogby's latest "perplexing" poll" shows New Mexico will go to Bush. But Joe Monahan is less certain. He says this coming Sunday's "ABQ Journal/Sanderoff poll" will be the tell.
Battleground Wisconsin is a blog begun by a Kerry campaign volunteer. For what it's worth, he reports this week that newspapers in Kenosha, Racine, and Wausau -- none of which is embedded exactly, or even approximately, in a liberal area of the state -- have endorsed Kerry.
The Vast Dairy State Conspiracy took time out yesterday to "acknowledge the anniversary of Paul and Sheila Wellstone's passing. Two years ago, they, their daughter Marcia, three campaign aides and two pilots were killed in a plane crash. Paul Wellstone was one of the good guys -- a true progressive, unafraid of the word 'liberal.'"
In the state that gave us William Howard Taft and the Kent State Massacre -- and on the positive side of the ledger, Esther Price chocolates -- a blog called Ohio Countdown 2004 is aghast that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is making no endorsement this year, after the publisher and editors couldn't agree among themselves. Tim Russo vows that he'll pass no judgment on this "pussy rollover, irresponsible lilly-livered, yellow bellied, weak in the knees, cowardly, pathetic, idiotic irrelevance."
Florida's a tough and varied place to sniff out bloggers, liberal or otherwise. I have this feeling that I've not even begun to scratch the surface of the state that always struck me as being, deep down, all-surface, anyway.
All I know so far is that Tampa-area Blogwood.com is trying to cast an early vote, but can't figure out "if I should follow the instructions on the ballot itself and use only a number 2 pencil, or pay attention to the insert that mentions nothing about a pencil, but happily suggests that a pen will do just fine."
Sounds just like the Florida we grew to know in 2000, doesn't it?
I'd be grateful if anyone cares to point me toward more locally oriented blogs with the skinny on what's happening in the 'purple' states.