This morning a rare thing happened on both front pages of my Sunday newspapers. A more targeted aspect of the national race for the White House made for above the fold reports in both The Wisconsin State Journal, and The New York Times. One was written by a well-respected Madison reporter, and the other by the wise hand of a national reporter.
While it is very common, of course, to see the large stories make the front page of both papers, it is rare to see that each paper, in their own way, report on a more narrow aspect of a news events at the same time.
(Again, this is stuff that catches my eye and interests me.)
The only other part of the front page of the two Sunday papers that matched was the date–Sunday, October 28, 2012.
Dee Hall writes of the push in Columbia County, just north of Madison to sway undecided voters. (How anyone can be undecided at this point is a mystery to me, and perhaps underscores that the voter is not smart enough to cast a ballot and should just consider staying home for the sake of everyone—-but I digress. Do I need more coffee or less for being so honest?)
According to the analysis, the nation’s swing counties have little in common except that their residents tend to be white and working class.
Columbia County fits that description. It’s a largely rural place of just under 57,000 people that has four small cities — Columbus, Lodi, Portage and Wisconsin Dells — and 10 villages. Major industries including manufacturing, tourism, health care, dairy processing and farming. About 94 percent of the population is white, and the median household income is a little above the state average at $56,000 a year.
Meanwhile Jeff Zeleny (who I really enjoy reading and listening to) along with Jim Rutenberg writes from a national perspective about the county-by-county hunt for voters.
At this late stage of the race, the fight for the White House is being waged on intensely local terrain, in places whose voting histories and demographics have been studied in minute detail by both sides. Mr. Obama is intent on replicating an electorate that swept him into office four years ago and is heavily dependent on younger, female and minority voters. Mr. Romney is relying on an older, whiter and more conservative voting group, along the lines of the ones that turned out in 2004 and 2010.
In regards to Wisconsin the NYT reports in part…
The 2008 presidential election, when Mr. Obama carried the state by 14 percentage points, is a distant memory. The electorate is far more polarized this year, particularly after the contentious recall attempt of Mr. Walker in June, which failed.
The organization that Mr. Walker put together to fend off the recall effort by labor unions is the muscle behind Mr. Romney’s on-the-ground operation. In an interview last week, he said, “We set the stage for the Romney campaign before the Romney campaign was fully engaged.”