Archive for November, 2007

clinton working california

November 1, 2007

It’s been a while since I entered something on this site, largely because I’ve started another blog that’s more about my profession. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time there. It’s about local economic development in California’s Central Valley. As part of that blog, first thing in the morning every day I browse over 30 newspapers in California’s Central Valley, from Elk Grove in Sacramento County in the north to Bakersfield in Kern County 265 miles to the south.

One thing I’ve been struck by is Hillary Clinton’s presence in the Central Valley — and the absolute lack of presence by Edwards, Obama, Richardson, etc. Whether it’s Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno, or even tiny Selma, Team Hillary has been working the ropes like no one else.

Clinton’s doing well in statewide polls because, of course, name recognition; but also because she and her camp are working hard. Not just in LA or the San Francisco Bay Area, but the great Central Valley of California as well.

Now, to Edwards, Richardson, Obama etc, this might not matter because maybe they are thinking, “Let’s get over New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina and then make a mad dash for California in late January.” If so, I think they are dreadfully miscalculating.

While election day in California is the first Tuesday in February, many Californians will have already voted absentee via mail since you can send in your ballot twenty-nine days before election day.

“So what?,” you think. “That’s old news,” you say.

Ah . . but here’s the kicker. In my experience in analyzing polls using that rudimentary “standard deviation” approach I’ve written about before, I’ve noticed that you can predict the winner three weeks before election day. What this tells me is that enough minds will be made up in California not three weeks prior to February 5 but up to three weeks prior to January 7 — sometime in mid-December.

And . . . in order to convince voters, each candidate will have had to really work the phone banks and the crowds into an election frenzy weeks, if not months, before mid-December. Yes, Edwards and Obama are coming to the Bay Area or LA for this or that chit-chat meet-ups — but they are not really taking it to the people as if election day is tomorrow.

Only Hillary is doing that, in California’s Central Valley at least.