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July 03, 2008

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Some more interesting data from the Montana poll:

Asked to rank the candidates, 32 percent ranked Obama and 24 percent ranked McCain "very favorable."

25 percent ranked Obama and 34 percent ranked McCain "somewhat favorable." As in the Idaho poll for the LaRocco for Senate campaign (click my name), many Montanans seem to like both of 'em.

A full one in four Montanans ranked Obama "very unfavorable," while 16 percent said the same of McCain. But that's not surprising: People who dislike Obama *really* seem to dislike him, and they no doubt dovetail with the people who still believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing a great job.

They won't budge, but we don't need them. There are more than enough independents and moderate Republicans who don't want a third Bush term to give Obama a solid victory in November, even in some unlikely places. Here's hoping we get a head-to-head poll in Idaho before too long.

Wow. Just the fact he's ahead in the polls right now is impressive.

Maybe I'll move to Montana so my vote counts.

I might reccomend tempering your optomism a little bit. This is only one poll. Last month, Rasmussen had John McCain within 3 in CT, but the latest polls average give Obama a 19 lead in CT. Plus the margin of error on the poll is +/- 4.5% on both sides.

That said, Montana is a state that could reasonably go from Blue to Red, given the presence of Mr. Barr on the ballot coupled with the shoddy treatment of Ron Paul supporters at the convention. I don't have on my big electoral map as a state that's in-play, but it could be by the time this is all over with.

I've now lived in Seattle for over 30 years. I've lived here but I still consider my birthplace and childhood home of Butte, Montana my true home. So when friends asked why Mr. Obama would want to visit Butte Montana for the 4th...while an obvious choice for anyone knowing Buttes significant history, not so much for the average American.

Most feel that Montana's electorate would never be numerous enough to greatly affect national politics, but what the state lacked in quantity, it has more than made up for in the effectiveness of it's elected representatives. Always politically conscious and demonstrative, Butte, itself, has entertained and imposing number of presidents and candidates. Many of them appearing in Buttes wonderful 4th of July festivities. Among those, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Eisenhower and JFK and Mrs. Kennedy.


So why was Butte Montana a required stop on the road to the White House? We'll in a word, mining. The mines of Butte always have been the true essence of Butte. Most who have lived in Butte were unusually dependent on the mines in one way or another. Butte copper played key roles in the industrialization of America. My own family lived in Butte since 1860 and all Irish immigrants from Cork Ireland. Most although not all of them were hard rock miners. As the people of Butte created a unique lifestyle of the great mining camp, so did the mines create the lifestyle of the people.

Most aren't aware that the "Richest Hill On Earth" is also known as "The Gibraltar of Unionism". Butte has been a union town since June 13, 1878 when the Butte Workingman's Union was organized. Since that time, there have been strikes, violence, solidarity, and dynamiting's! One of the many union disputes occurred on June 23 rd 1914 when bout 100 men opened rifle fire from Union Hall upon thousands of miners gathered around the building. The miner's returned the fire causing the Union president and others to ultimately flee the building. The attacking miners then took cases of dynamite from the nearby mines and blew up the hall! Whatever the changes in union alignments may have been, one fact is clear: Butte has always been a union town!

Coming full circle Butte is now the site of the largest superfund cleanup in the country. The people of Butte are working diligently to ensure that the the mining that occurred in the last 140 years, does not have adverse effects on Montana's pristine ecology. Their efforts are impressive. They have completed a ground water treatment facility which removes the toxic minerals from existing mine water and it is then returned to nearby Silver Bow Creek safe for fish and wildlife.

So when Mr. Obama visits Butte on Friday to appear in the parade, no doubt, this history played a significant role. Butte is a prime example of what is important to America...Families, Immigrants, Industry, history, and of course politics and the environment.

The theme of this years celebration is "Family Businesses".

The campaign made a smart choice for the Obama family. One that I believe will put Montana firmly in the Obama war chest of growing former republican strongholds.

Happy Birthday America!

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