50-State Strategy Could Heal Red/Blue Divide
Why the candidates are doing the right thing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 10:20 AM CDT
John McCain, center, stands on the shores of the Chester Morse Lake in Washington State, Tuesday, May 13, 2008. Republicans are rarely seen in Seattle, but McCain has made appearances there.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama and John McCain each hope to widen the playing field this November, and that could be a good thing for the country, writes Ronald Brownstein for the National Journal. Part of the reason America is so partisan is because it’s politically balkanized. In 2000 and 2004, both candidates resigned themselves to that division, conceding states that will be in play this time around.

Obama is spending heavily in more than a dozen previously red states, and although McCain is more financially constrained, he has visited places where Republicans typically fear to tread. Bush has seemed content to govern “as president of his half of the country,” Brownstein observes. "But simply making enough effort to run competitively in states usually written off to the other side could help the winner as president."