Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove says Ohio, Michigan, Colorado and Virginia are the top four states to watch in this presidential election.
In the piece, he outlines his ideas for how John McCain can pick up each state:
Mr. McCain needs Reagan Democrats and independents in eastern Michigan. These working class, culturally conservative, mostly Catholic voters are how the GOP elected an attorney general, a secretary of state and a state Senate majority. ...Read the complete Rove article
Mr. McCain also needs to focus on "soft" Republicans, particularly in the Detroit suburbs. His renegade reputation will help him with socially liberal independents and Republicans. But Mr. Obama's change message will help him in western Michigan where the socially conscious, historically Republican Dutch voters have antiwar tendencies. ...
How can Mr. McCain take Ohio? He can appeal to swing voters in the northeastern part of the state. Cuyahoga, Summit and Lucas counties and the Mahoning Valley are full of culturally conservative, working-class voters. In addition, Mr. Obama was wiped out in the primary among the blue-collar Reagan Democrats of southeastern Ohio. Outside of the university town of Athens, he won less than 30% of the vote in southeastern Ohio. This Appalachian region remains bad turf for him.
Mr. McCain will need to do well with suburban independents in the counties surrounding Columbus to balance heavy African-American turnout. He will also need to run strong in the Cincinnati suburbs in the southwest, and in rural and small-town counties.