Singin’ Those Swing State Blues

According to a recent Associated Press story, the upcoming presidential election will come down to how people vote in these seven states:






New Hampshire


The message for residents of these states is clear: Lock up your babies and little old ladies. It’s going to be a bumpy fall.

For the next three months, you and your vote will be the quarry of big-game hunting politicos willing to twist every knob, turn over every rock and crawl down every hole in search of that elusive 51% of the votes in your state.

You and your vote are the object of their desire, the purpose of their actions and the subject of their dreams. The candidates and their campaign teams will become your new best friends. They’ll prove it by never letting a moment of any campaign day slide by without reaching out to touch you in some fashion.

They’ll come to you over the phone with robo calls from the candidate, his wife, the governor, the mayor, your preacher and maybe a Hollywood star or two. Flip on your tv and they’ll blare at you with yappy ads. Go to your mailbox and there they’ll be again. You’ll be observed, polled and think-tanked to smithereens.

The reason for all this attention is simple. You can’t make up your mind.

After what seems like years of campaigning and political back and forth, you still don’t know which one of these two guys you want for your president. I’m not sure what it is about Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia that makes you so indecisive, but it does seem that this happens to you a lot.

While you folks are getting pummeled and pushed, the rest of us who live in the states that made up our collective minds a year ago will watch. We’ll see the “focus groups,” “on-the-spot-interviews” and on election day, the “exit polls” telling us minute by minute what your reactions are to each itty bitty piece of jaffe reporting and the rare actual issue that will come up.

We’ll see you become more tense;  hear your voices as they spiral higher. We’ll watch as the constant hammering from your new best friends Romney and Obama wears away your patience. We’ll listen as you sing those swing state blues.

But we know you. You will not make up your minds. When election day rolls around, you’ll surprise everyone by what you do, including, probably, yourselves.

Until that day (and may it come soon) you’ll just have to suffer your quadrennial punishment while the rest of us watch. Around my house, we’re going to lay in a store of popcorn, soft drinks and snacks so that we can kick back and have a good time at the upcoming three-month-long watch party.

As for those of you in the barrel, you are the front line of active Democracy. You know and I know that the day the election is over, your new best friends will pack up and go back to where they came from. They probably won’t even issue a good-bye robo call. The only way you’ll know they were ever there will be by the tilted campaign signs wilting in the rain and an occasional campaign mail piece hanging out the back end of a trash truck.

My advice to you is to spend the quiet of that day after the day when America chooses its next president unpacking your babies and little old ladies. You can tell them that it’s safe for them to come out now.

  • neenergyobserver

    If there is anyone in America that I feel sorry for, it’s a swing state voter. Well said. My vote may not count for a lot for president but, I don’t have the harassment that goes with it either.

    • Rebecca Hamilton


  • Mr. V.

    I’m not in a swing state, and thank heaven for that. I don’t get flooded by political calls, although I do get some, mostly from new guys on the political block seeking to establish themselves. No matter which politician the call is from, though, I hang up. Especially if it’s an automated call. I never listen to more than three or four seconds to any automated call, unless it’s from a medical clinic calling to remind me of an upcoming appointment, and then I stay on the line to hit the right button to confirm that I’m aware of the appointment and still going.

    With live calls, mostly I say no thanks and hang up. I have been known to occasionally do something like ask for the caller’s home phone #, with a promise that I’ll call later in the evening so that I can interrupt his dinner and he can take time away from his meal to pass on whatever it is he feels I need to know. They usually hang up on me then. :D

  • Niemand

    Swing state voter in a leaning state. I thank you for your concern, but actually am quite fine. I have no intent to lock up the little old ladies, their votes are important and their activism even more so, but might keep the babies out of politicians way for a while. Disease vectors, these politicians, what with all the hands they have to shake. As for phone calls during dinner, that’s why Verizon gave us voice mail: so that we can ignore calls during dinner guilt free.

    Also, if you’ll excuse the grammar policing, “it’s” is short for “it is”. “Its” is the possessive of “it”. See your last paragraph, if you don’t remember where you made this minor and common grammatical error.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks for the grammar check. I NEVER see these things myself!

      Good luck, riding out the storm. :-)

  • JessicaHof

    Best thing to do is leave the phone off the hook and don’t answer the door :)

    • Rebecca Hamilton


  • Nick

    For me, being a few months too young to vote and in a swing state (Ohio), the terrible part isn’t all the ads and stuff, because I can usually avoid them. It’s all the talk from people I know about the election. Every single day in school I hear nothing but yapping about how dumb Romney is. Every. Day. I might just have to schedule an emergency “make fun of politics day” before the popular vote because it’s driving me CRAZY!