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N.D.’s Three Electoral College Votes, Ripe for the Picking

FARGO, N.D.–Standing on a tarmac in Fargo, N.D. this morning, the press corps traveling with Sen. Barack Obama had every reason to ask what in god’s name they were doing there. Not only had George W. Bush taken the state during the last two election cycles, North Dakota has a paltry three votes in the electoral college. But here was the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, ready to give an address on veterans at a local children’s museum, before leading the group to Montana — which also has a whopping three votes to add.

"I’m a firm believer that 90 percent of success is showing up, and Democrats haven’t been showing up in these places," Obama said of his choice of venue. He later added, "If you look at the trends in many of these states, there are more and more independents who aren’t tied to [a] political party, and I want to make sure we are reaching out to them."

Call it Obama’s version of the "small ball" philosophy that Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen used to win the 2005 World Series. During the American League playoffs, and later in a tightly contested 4-game sweep of the Houston Astros, Guillen consistently used stolen bases, sacrifice flys and bunts to move players from base-to-base and score — instead of waiting for the three-run homer. Now, Guillen’s fellow South Sider is using the same tactic to win the presidential election — collecting small states instead of focusing all his efforts in Ohio and Florida. Can it work? Just ask the unemployed Clinton campaign staff who took nearly all the major states, including Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania. Next stop, Alaska!

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