Presidential Campaign Ads in Hawai’i

In an almost bizarre announcement, KITV is reporting that the Democratic National Committee and the Bush-Cheney Campaign will be buying TV commercials in Hawai’i in the final week before the election. Ads could appear as early as tomorrow.

According to Wikipedia, Hawai’i has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate every election since 1998, and has only voted Republican twice since statehood: for Nixon in 1972, and for Reagan in 1984. (Both were landslide victories for the respective candidates, in terms of electoral votes.)

Normally, Hawai’i is one of the most ignored states during election season. It’s the most isolated land mass on Earth, meaning it costs a lot of money to fly here, and it takes a big slice of time out of a campaign schedule that could better be spent in the lower 48 states. As a result, the only ads we see for President are on the national cable news channels.

However, the Honolulu Advertiser has calculated that (given an election sans Florida-style problems) there is a 1.5% chance that Kerry and Bush could be tied for electoral votes, compared with a 1.4% chance of the electoral votes being what they were in 2000. Numbers like this, combined with polls that say Hawai’i’s electoral votes are locked in a statistical dead heat, mean that Hawai’i’s four electoral votes have suddenly become crucial.

Since I’ve already cast my vote by absentee ballot, I have the liberty to sit back and watch with fascination at how the numbers will turn out. 2004 is going to be another close year.

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