Sunday, October 5, 2008
Maybe why McCain-leaning states are now bending toward Obama
In every battleground state where McCain had an edge, Obama is steadily moving ahead. Florida (with its big 27 Electoral Votes) and North Carolina may be the most dramatic reversals, but there are also Michigan -- from which McCain has decided to pull out -- Ohio and Nevada.
The economy surely is the biggest factor, but in at least two cases -- Florida and Nevada (i.e. Las Vegas, Reno) -- I think likely voters are reacting in particular to the battering that home values have taken in those states. While home prices are down 15-20% nationwide, they're down much more steeply in those two states, where residential real estate activity was hyperactive until a year ago. So millions of homeowners who have not gone into foreclosure or delinquincey are finding their biggest investment is worth less today than it was several years ago. If this trend continues -- as the experts say it will for at least a year -- many homeowners who were not part of the subprime crisis will see their biggest investment zeroed out.
As homeowners in Florida, Nevada and other hyperactive states watch this happen, they will react -- in fact, they are already reacting: The GOP lean-ers among them are migrating to Obama, hoping, in their financial straits, that he and the Democrats will do more for them than de-regulators McCain and the GOP.
People do indeed vote their pocketbook.