August 01, 2008 Slideshows

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The 15 People That Will Decide the Presidential Election 

Within 15 battleground states lies that rarest of species: the undecided voter. This year, these swing personalities will decide the 2008 presidential election. Who are they? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the individuals who will decide the next leader of the Free World ...
Nate Patrin
The Crunchy Conservative: The Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington have many things in common, including traditions as battleground states and hippie homelands. In recent years, political lines have started to blur as patchouli-scented types grow older and tuck anti-tax (and sometimes even anti-abortion) platforms inside those Birkenstocks. Will enough of these transfer support to McCain? The I Ching says probably not. Advantage: Obama
Nate Patrin
From Pennsylvania… The Embittered Hillary Clinton Supporter: Pennsylvania is, according to James Carville, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between. Except this Alabama has towns with names like Intercourse and Blue Ball. Whether or not the Embittered Hillary Clinton Supporters can get over their electoral blue balls in the wake of their boilermaker-swilling candidate’s loss will determine the outcome. Advantage: Obama
Nate Patrin
From Ohio… The Diebold Machine. In 2004, the Diebold swing vote broke late for incumbent George W. Bush. If Diebold can’t erase Obama’s 1.5-point edge, no one can. Advantage: McCain
Nate Patrin
From Iowa… The Farmer’s Daughter. You know those dames who faint at Obama rallies? Every single one was a farmer’s daughter. Every. Single. One. Advantage: Obama.
Nate Patrin
From Michigan… The Recently Laid Off Plant Worker Optimistic Enough to Vote. The recession has been especially merciless to the Rust Belt and Motown. The Recently Laid Off Plant Worker Optimistic Enough to Vote is a rare animal, but is ferociously thirsty for change (both kinds). Advantage: Obama.
Nate Patrin
From Virginia… The Housewife with a Master's Degree. As Northern Virginia's demographics change, the state becomes increasingly purple. Advantage: McCain, but trending Obama.
Nate Patrin
Antonin Scalia aka the Fixer: Not a state, but definitely a state of mind. In case you need another elections stolen, the group-sex-backing Supreme has something sleazy beneath the robe. Other than the obvious. Advantage: McCain.
Nate Patrin
From Missouri… The Jaded Centrist. Missourians are notorious for their put-up-or-shut-up philosophy, hence Missouri’s nickname as the Show-Me State. Consequently, voters here respond well to “substance,” no matter how dangerous the substance in question might be to the country/world. Advantage: McCain
Nate Patrin
From Arkansas… The Disgruntled Quasi-Bigot. Historically, a small yet politically active core of quasi-bigots has made Arkansas a reliable red state. A waning economy might change that, as McCain represents a continuation of Bush’s doomed economic policies (see Michigan). Having said that, Obama is reportedly half-black. Advantage: McCain.
Nate Patrin
From Florida… The Elderly Migrant: Floridians are old. Their black people have been wiped off the voting rolls, sometimes even legitimately. McCain is old. Obama is black. Advantage: McCain.
Nate Patrin
From New Hampshire… The Teetering Contrarian. In the sea of blue states that is New England, one state mulishly harbors a conservative streak, thanks to its high concentration of Teetering Contrarians. With a motto like “Live Free or Die,” it has to be judicious. Or batshit. Advantage: Bob Barr
Nate Patrin
From Nevada… The Recent Transplant: Native Nevadans are about as rare as hen's teeth. Something like 99% have moved there in the last ten years. Which means that you're really looking for what expat New Yorkers, Michiganders, and Ohians think. Ones that feel very lucky. Ones that gambled on their water supply and economy. What can we say? It’s a crapshoot. Advantage: push
Nate Patrin
From Wisconsin… The Affable Cheesehead. Every Twin Cities resident has a token friend from Wisconsin. We all know that the Affable Cheesehead will follow our lead. Advantage: Obama
Nate Patrin
From Indiana… The Bland Everyman. Never one to rock the boat, the Bland Everyman has avoided explicitly throwing his/her weight behind any one candidate—‘cause that would be rude—opting instead to “see how it all plays out.” Come crunch time, the Bland Everyman usually goes with the current. In other words, Indiana will likely go the same route as Illinois. Advantage: Obama.
Nate Patrin
From New Mexico… The Sun-Baked Lizard: Granted, sun-baked lizards represent McCain’s core constituency. But in the weeks since Hillary Clinton’s departure, the Obama camp has made significant inroads into the reptilian demographic, particularly amongst Crocodilia and theologians. Advantage: Obama.
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Nate Patrin
The Crunchy Conservative: The Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington have many things in common, including traditions as battleground states and hippie homelands. In recent years, political lines have started to blur as patchouli-scented types grow older and tuck anti-tax (and sometimes even anti-abortion) platforms inside those Birkenstocks. Will enough of these transfer support to McCain? The I Ching says probably not. Advantage: Obama
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