Another week, another story (this one on the front page) of a Red state trending toward Obama. This Saturday it was Florida, and the story was from Damien Cave, "Economic Crisis Fuels Obama In Tight Ground War for Florida."
This marks at least the third Times story devoted solely to Obama making progress in a traditionally Republican state. On September 18 it was Virginia; back on August 17, North Carolina. The Times evidently missed the surprising post-Palin surge by the McCain campaign in blue states like Minnesota and Washington. Or perhaps the paper figured its liberal readership wouldn't want to read them.
Cave led off with some piercing quotes from the Times' favorite kind of Republicans - the ex-kind:
Jim Piccillo lost his job as a bank vice president in August, applied for food stamps to support his two young daughters and swore off a life of loyalty to the Republican Party. He now volunteers here in Pasco County for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
Madeline Aquanno's change of heart came more recently. Two weeks ago, she said, she had planned to vote for Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican, who impressed her with his knowledge of the world. But as the economy began to scare her more than terrorism, she reconsidered.
"Obama is more for the people," she said, near the pool at her middle-class retirement community in Broward County. "I'm worried about the jobs that are being lost, for my son, my daughter, my granddaughter. You have to look down the line."
Cave noted that in Florida, "a swing state of severe economic hurt - a leader in foreclosures where empty offices now litter strip malls - there are signs that Mr. Obama is gaining ground," quoting recent polls putting Obama up by 3 to eight points in the state, and really diggingdeep to find a pro-Obama surge:
Anecdotally, though, Mr. Obama seems to have made some headway. At Christina's, a family restaurant in downtown New Port Richey, the red leather stools at the counter held both Republicans tried-and-true, and Republicans, like Chris Hart, 48, who had begun to sour on Mr. McCain.