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Sunday, November 2, 2008

ALL: Final look at Midwest states from NBC political director

8:32 PM

NBC's Chuck Todd has a 50-state breakdown of what he's watching for on Election Night.

Read the whole thing here and see below for excerpts from the states:
Illinois: Obviously, the presidential race isn't in doubt here. The big question is how long Obama's coattails in his state will be. Could he swing four House races? Probably not, but if Democrats net less than two seats out, they'll be disappointed. The big post-election story if Obama wins the presidency will be in the hands of the ethically embattled Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He's not very popular and has a chance to use his power to appoint an Obama replacement as a step in the direction of political rehabilitation.

Iowa: What has happened to the Iowa Republican Party? Just two years ago, the GOP held four of the five House seats. Now, if the wave hits hard enough, the party could be down to just one seat (the always conservative 5th District). ... the state's Republican infrastructure is just a mess.

Michigan: ... Nothing disappoints national Republican strategists more than their inability to get Michigan back into the swing column. From the presidential race on down, the party hasn't really had a success in this state in 10 years (Gov. John Engler's last re-election victory). Because McCain abandoned the state, there is some fear in GOP circles that the Democrats could pick up one or two House seats.

Minnesota: Forget the presidential race, there's no better campaign for political junkies like myself than the nutty three-way Senate race between Norm Coleman, Al Franken and ex-Sen. Dean Barkley (remember, Jesse Ventura appointed Barkley to the Senate for the remaining days of the late Paul Wellstone's term). It's a crazy race; I think there's even a five percent chance the third party candidate wins. That said, I guess Franken is the very slight favorite.

Ohio: One of the better state Republican parties is right here in the Buckeye State; it's why so many of us aren't ready to count McCain out yet in Ohio. The Republican machine is a good one. The Democrats had a terrible state organization here before 2004 but have since put together a very impressive operation.

Wisconsin: Remember when Wisconsin was a battleground state? Wow, have things changed in this state in just four years. Republicans ought to focus on rebuilding the Wisconsin state party before many other states because once they crack the Wisconsin code, they'll be able to succeed in other states.


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