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  • Swingtown in a Swing State

       October 20, 2004

    Dales' ECB is an invaluable resource, that's why we keep his map on our homepage. I still wish he used red for the Republicans and blue for the Dems like everybody else does, but I appreciate his individuality. On that map, I've watched Wisconsin go from medium red, to light red, to white, to light blue, back to white and now it's light red again. What all of that adds up to, is that Wisconsin is really a swing state.

    Update: And now, just in the last day, Wisconsin is light blue again. We've got a swingin' party down the line.

    But on some level I don't believe that. I look around me and see that at least 90% of the bumper stickers, signs and buttons support the Kerry/Edwards ticket. How can President Bush possibly win this state?

    It could be that Madison, truly is "twenty-five square miles surrounded by reality." At least it is for 360 days this year. Those other six days are Badger football Saturdays. Suddenly a smug city of farmers market-goers turns into the rest of the state. They gleefully turn Steve Miller's "Swingtown" into a vulgar chant. Instead of chai, people chug beer or brandy old fashioneds (as an aside, isn't this an amazing statistic: 35% of Korbel's total national brandy production is sent to Wisconsin?). These are the independent-minded Wisconsinites the national pollsters talk about. These are the people who vote for mavericks like "Fighting Bob" LaFollette, Lee Dreyfus, Tommy Thompson & Russ Feingold. Suddenly ultra-liberal Madison is just like the rest of Wisconsin.

    Football Saturdays are some of the few days that I feel like I belong in Madison. Don't get me wrong, I love so much about the place, but I feel more at home with the beer drinkers than with the chai drinkers. I'm a native Wisconsinite, which puts me at odds with Madison's political elites, many of whom hail from traditional liberal enclaves, came here for college, and never left. In short, I'm politically isolated, and, as a result, I'm sweating out these last 13 days before the election, utterly convinced that somehow Kerry's going to win.

    The funny thing is that if I lived anywhere else in this state, I would get to see the President so many times that I would expect him to know me by name, if not by sight. And, I'd probably be thinking there's no way Kerry can win, everybody I see is for Bush. In the end, I think it's all for the best because I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.

    Posted by at October 20, 2004 10:20 PM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at October 20, 2004 10:33 PM

    i like that gerry dale colors his map the "right" way.
    but then, i'm something of an old fashioned kind of guy

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at October 20, 2004 11:41 PM

    I prefer beer to chai as well.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Brett at October 21, 2004 09:40 AM

    I live near Sheboygan, and have spent a lot of time in Madison lately, with the intention of moving there in the near future... I've gotta admit that Madison is truly a world of its own... my girlfriend and I are constantly amusing perusing the stores on State Street, noting all the anti-Bush propaganda... but so far I've found most of the liberals to be fairly polite, beginning with the student activist who was working for the DNC... he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I'd like to help "get Bush out of the White House"... when I said that I'd be eager to work to keep Bush IN, he looked slightly confused but still managed a smile and said "well, have a nice day then"

    I'm still planning to move to the Madison area... but I think I'll wait until after January 20th and all the "every [democrat] vote must count!" chants subside

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Steve S at October 21, 2004 12:08 PM

    I had the privilege and honor of attending a Bush rally in Green Bay and am convinced that Wisconsin WANTS to keep W in the W-house. But the polss keep drifting back to Mr. Kerry so I am a bit concerned, too.

    Still, the energy, enthusiasm and optimism of the folks at that rally lead me to believe WI is going for W for the WIN.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Brett at October 21, 2004 01:15 PM

    I agree with Steve... I had the same feeling at the Oshkosh rally with Bush.. major optimism throughout the entire crowd. There were no signs of desperation. I think everyone in the building firmly believed Bush will still be in the White House in February.

    Compare that to your average Kerry rally where they're wringing hands trying to come up with yet another way to make their votes count more than ours.




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