California is in the tank for Obama. The Field Poll has Obama at a Bradley-proof 22 points over McCain in California. The political news here is the fight against Proposition 8, the attempt to outlaw same-sex unions. We have the usual number of carpetbaggers from the Bible-Belt that pollute our politics whenever we have a juicy proposition but the hottest news so far is the surge of Mormon money during the past weeks trying to pass Proposition 8. So far Field has that proposition going down to defeat by 5 points but they were off by just that much when we invented the Bradley Effect here in 1986. I was just through Oregon last week but I didnt notice much political activity since we nearly made it through the state before we had to stop to have some guy refuel the car. Its getting as weird in Oregon as it is in California: Its legal to kill yourself in Oregon but they wont let you pump your own gas. Color them in the tank for Obama, though: Rasmussen has Obama ahead there by 12 points.
Utah remains in the stall for McCain. I was through there two weeks ago and there were signs up for county races but nothing national. Noteworthy, though, was the motel managed by the Indian family, complete with caste marks, in eastern Utah, just down from the Rockies. Will seagull stew spiced with curry be on the horizon for the elders? If so, it had better be laced with glowing neon because I ran into the worst case of LA-style smog between Provo and Ogden that I have ever seen.
Nevada and Montana are amazingly in play: Its as unlikely as MoveOn getting up and leaving. Aside from backsliding for Clinton, both states have been in the tank for the Republican Party since Nixon. Now they are listed as toss-ups. Montana was the more remarkable of the two since I saw twice as many taxidermist signs on the highway as I did McCain/Palin posters. The same holds true for Ron Paul posters. The Blackfeet Rez was plastered with DIY Obama posters. Meanwhile Rasmussen gives McCain four points on Obama but hints that the lead might be obliterated by the Ron Paul vote.
Nevada was even more devoid of McCain paraphernalia. The remarkable part of the state remains how Wayne Newton has been displaced by advertisements for housing developments on that ten mile strip of roadside signs on the western approach to Las Vegas on I-15. Rasmussen has Obama leading McCain in Nevada by four points.
Nothing was noteworthy about Idaho except for a beautiful blanket of snow on the way to Pocatello. Nothing of national interest was evident in the panhandle as well, just the county races were being advertised. They are, like Utah, in the tank for the Republican Party. In fact its a no-brainer: Think Helen Chenoweth, first-term congresswoman from Idaho who charged that armed federal agents were landing black helicopters on Idaho ranchers’ property to enforce the Endangered Species Act. The state is the California for militia nutters.
Eastern Washington from Spokane down through that goddamn desert was McCain/Palin free, surprisingly because that area is the Republican stronghold of the state. I only found significant McCain advertising in the northeastern part of the state. Washington, like Oregon, has been in the tank for the Democrats since Reagan left office. Right now Rassmussen has Obama by 11 points.
The interesting race in Washington is the governors race, there is hardly anything else on TV. Four years ago the two candidates that are currently running duked it out and the Democrat won by 129 votes on the third recount. The same two are running again and it is really an ugly race, with the only charge left unhurled is that the opponent spent July in the al Qaeda Child-Abuse Seminar in a cave near Torra Bora. Washington also has an assisted suicide measure, very similar to the Oregon law, on the ballot. Maybe I wont be able to pump my own petrol in Washington either.
In less than seven hours the California polls will close. Instantly by network, cable and satellite we will behold the Obama victory, probably a landslide. And what do we get for our billion bucks?: A brigade of Armani or Versace-clad anchors peering into the camera with great gravitas announcing the demise of the Republican Party. Its 1964 all over again Sluggiepoos.
And we all know how that ended.
Meanwhile Dubya has the launch codes until January 20. Sleep tight.