One of the problems for John McCain is…baseball. In the past two weeks, the economic crisis has moved undecided voters towards Barack Obama. McCain has one month to pull those voters back to undecided and then win them over. It is a tall order under any circumstance. But, it is especially difficult because in three key swing states – Florida, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – all eyes are on baseball.
The playoffs feature the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. (In New England, the Red Sox are everybody’s team and New Hampshire relies on Boston television stations for news.) Team Obama would love to see a Tampa Bay-Boston final in the American League and the Phillies make it to the finals in the National League. In the other match-up, Obama has locked up both California and Illinois so it doesn’t matter whether the Cubs or the Dodgers win. Obama is a Cubs’ fan, so he can cheer for his team without fear of political fallout.
McCain needs a game-changer. He needs voters in suburban Philadelphia, southern New Hampshire and the I-4 corridor in Florida to give him a second look. But for many Americans, the games that will dominate the local news are being played on the baseball diamond.
Michael Sean Winters