domingo, 15 de julio de 2012

El calculado itinerario de Obama en Virginia


En la imagen, Obama rodeado de negros en la blanca Glen Allen.

The Washington Post:

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) noted that in 2009 he won virtually all the Virginia battlegrounds that pushed Obama to victory the year before.

“It’s the kitchen-table voters,” McDonnell said. “Thirty percent of voters in Virginia, maybe even more in the suburbs and exurbs, are people who really don’t vote party. They vote the person, and they vote the issue. And from what I’m hearing from people, and from what the polls indicate are important to people, the president’s got a horrible record and Mitt Romney’s got better ideas.”

Obama’s itinerary Friday and Saturday reflected Virginia’s changing political map. A few miles from Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, he met with Navy families over lunch. He drew large minority crowds in Hampton, an urban enclave in Tidewater. He stopped in Roanoke — he is the first sitting president in decades to do so — trying to expand the valuable concentrations of Democrats in western Virginia’s string of small cities. And he hit the vote-rich outskirts of Richmond and Washington, ground zero for Virginia’s political evolution.

Some of those groups remain up for grabs, and some are out of reach. The independent voters Obama is courting among suburbanites, service members, business leaders and federal workers are on Romney’s radar, too. McDonnell noted that two of Obama’s five stops this weekend — in Virginia Beach and Glen Allen — were in Republican neighborhoods where McDonnell has lived. (Glen Allen, where Obama spoke in a drenching thunderstorm, is also in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district). And deeply conservative rural Virginia serves as a constant reminder for Obama that, despite the opportunities, his path to victory here is narrow.

“We have a very legitimate opportunity to win races that we weren’t winning before,” said U.S. Senate candidate and former governor Timothy M. Kaine. “But it’s nothing to be cocky or complacent about.”

(...) The inner suburbs of Washington, for instance, feature far more registered Democrats proportionally than the state overall. Rural Virginia is so much more conservative than the more populous east that, in 2008, Obama ran 12 points behind his overall performance in Virginia. And in Tidewater, where Obama made two stops Friday, black voters constitute 38 percent of voters, twice the percentage of the entire state.

The president’s enormous popularity among black voters was on full display throughout the weekend swing. Motorcading through minority-heavy neighborhoods in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Hampton, Obama traveled boulevards lined with supporters who jumped, cheered and waved signs as he passed. One woman came out of a beauty parlor, her hair still in curlers, during his brief stop at Rick’s Cafe. A teenage girl fainted during his speech at Green Run High School. And at Phoebus High School in Hampton, he couldn’t finish a sentence without being interrupted by exuberant cheers.

“We got your back, Obama!” one woman screamed.