When this political season was in its youth, say last winter, there was some talk that both Missouri and Arizona would be winnable for Obama. He came within a whisker of winning Missouri in 2008, and didn't do too badly in the Scorpion State considering that he was running against native son, John McCain. But as this season began to take shape, Missouri and Arizona were both shunted off into the group that Mitt Romney was expected to carry. The were shown as red on most of the media political maps.
But what a difference the last few weeks has made. Missouri is still showing up red on most of the news shows and political websites, but the state's senior senator, Claire McCaskill is no longer seen as an albatross hanging from the President's neck. After her opponent, Todd Akin, seemingly self-destructed while trying to explain what he saw as a difference between legitimate rape, and rape that is not so legitimate, McCaskill is suddenly leading in an election where she once was given little chance of winning. And a viable Claire McCaskill has got to be good for the President's chances of pulling off a surprise win in the "show-me" state.
While Missouri remains red, at least for the time being, Arizona has turned pink - or "leaning" Republican - a much better condition than being in the tank for Romney-Ryan. I registered to vote in Arizona last week, at just about the time it was upgraded to pink, so I will take credit for that change. (I just hope my political omnipotence carries over into the sheriff's race and Penzone is able to unseat Arpaio. What a sweet treat that would be!)
(It's interesting to me that in Arizona, where there the political establishment goes out of its way to harass Hispanics, people may register to vote over the Internet. Who would have thought that a pack of snarling racists could come up with something as enlightened as Internet voter registration?)
The ten or so "swing" states where most of the campaign cash is being spent also seem to be turning toward President Obama. I wonder how Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers feel about that. The presidency appears to be much harder to purchase than they figured.
Six weeks out and things are beginning to take shape. The ninety-eight percent are starting to speak up - and that's a very good thing indeed!