Hazel Green, Wisconsin

14 days before the election
Population (Estimated): 1,200
2004 Election: Kerry 51%, Bush 48%, Other 1%
2008 Election: Obama 61%, McCain 37%, Other 1%

John McCain may be in deep shit.

It may be our subject matter, our plates, or well-understood skepticism of two crazed guys with a camera and a wireless mic, but for the second day in a row we had to scramble to find supporters of the GOP’s leading man in area we knew to be at least half Republican.

To be fair, in Porter County, Indiana, an area that W won by five touchdowns, no one wanted to talk to us outside in the rain and the odds of finding the one McCain supporter that we did in Detroit were never better those that Tampa Bay had of playing the World Series against my beloved Fightin’ Phils. (Give ‘em hell boys, I’m expecting big things.)

But in Hazel Green, Wisconsin we had a crispy baked fall day in a county that John “Depends” Kerry and W split down the middle. We spoke to dozens of farmers, hunters, factory workers finding any number of Democrats and Independents and no shortage of Republicans pledged to Obama. Ron Paul, nobody at all and don’t care garnered more vigorous affection than Arizona’s senior senator.

But then just as we were prepared to retreat from the far corner of Wisconsin, we met John Folmer, a 67-year-old charter bus driver, who delivered a cogent argument for putting a man with keen foreign policy credentials in the White House instead of a 47-year-old Chicago lawyer. John has examined this election and these candidates as much as anyone we’ve talked to on the trip. He was deliberative with his decision and will vote for what he thinks is best for the nation.

The counter balance to John was the equally reflective 19-year-old Kassidy Donovan. Kassidy, at first apologized for not studying the election enough, but our brief conversation proved her to be a veritable electoral professor compared with ill-informed campaign volunteers who sup on punditry and confuse well-articulated sloganeering with knowledge.

Under the influence of her conservative parents Kassidy initially swayed right, but as she learned about McCain’s health care plan, she pivoted towards Obama. She has not made a final decision, but clearly she doesn’t agree with David Sedaris’ assessment that she’s choosing between eating chicken and eating shit with glass in it.


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