Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA

In the mid-1990s (when I was student) I turfed up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to sell books door to door. The community was a very Protestant community, ethnically European, a small 'city' based on industry and hard work. It was certainly hard work getting them to buy my study guides. So I went to California after a couple of weeks to man fairground rides on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

The Lutherans (the population has a strong German influence) of Manitowoc will be voting in their Presidential Primary today. John Kerry won this state by 50-49 in the 2004 Presidential election. Wisconsin is a swing state and a must win for the Democrats is they are to win the White House. This state should be prime Hillary Clinton territory- no particularly significant ethnic minority, per capita income below the US average, agriculture/ industrial economy, it is a primary rather than a caucus, it most definitely is not a 'red state'! But a Hillary win does not seem to be on the cards.

Hillary's spinners will explain the Obama victory- should that be what happens- away. It is close to Obama's home state. They couldn't campaign properly because of the snow (but surely that would hinder Obama more given his ground operation?). They weren't expected to win. This last one is the one that has amused me the most in recent weeks. If you lose, you lose!

For me, it will be a significant win and if the across the board support (with the exception of white women in the upper age range) Obama gained in Virginia and Maryland is replicated then it looks like there really has been a parting in the road.

Footnote: Liverpool v Inter Milan tonight. Have some pity on me.

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