I've done some phone banking for Barack Obama here in Chicago and can tell you that the coordination and level of professionalism from campaign staffers and volunteers well be what puts him over the top should he win next Tuesday. But you'd expect that from the Senator's home city, especially one as politically savvy (for good or ill) as Chicago. But discussions with friends in neighboring Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin who have also volunteered for the campaign find that they encountered the same level of well-oiled discipline and efficiency. That these key battelground states are so close to Obama's natural HQ though can't be overlooked.
Al Girodano (like the famous Chicago pizza!) agrees:
Chicago may just be the best city in the country to base your presidential campaign - in terms of the Electoral College - if you count with a cadre of well-trained organizers and volunteers ready to travel a short ways to register voters, knock on doors and help get out the vote in the neighboring swing states: Add 39 contiguous Electoral Votes in play and another 27 in battleground states close enough for day trips, and the region holds a whopping electoral prize of 87 EVs. That's more than the 73 on the West Coast or the 74 in Greater NY (with PA, NJ and CT).
VIA Andrew Sullivan