The 51 percent nation

I’m going to go with Big Foot, UFOs and Susan Sarandon dove hunting with the Pope. Those are my top three answers to the question: What are you more likely to see in a red state than President Obama for the next year?

Since mid-August, the president has been slipping into racing form with a series of sprints around the country; raking in campaign funds, talking up his jobs program and talking down Republicans. But with the exception of one trip to Texas, every single visit has been to a state that voted for him in
2008, places like Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

He has shown a particular fondness for states that he flipped from red to blue, so it was no surprise that he made tracks through North Carolina and Virginia this week, with a clear eye to turning that trick again. The White House says he’s not campaigning ‹ he’s just informing the voters. Maybe. But
if that’s true, than the president must think his own constituency is pretty thick-headed, since he’s spending virtually all his time “informing” them.

The same is true on the Republican side, of course, only they’re not pretending to be “informing” anyone; they are just openly campaigning. Trips by the GOP pick (whenever that is decided) will also be heavily focused on battleground states, which the challenger thinks can be tipped from blue to
red. Beyond that, the GOP nominee will bolster his or her base where needed, and otherwise blast past residents of true blue states as if they are hoboes along the highway.

All of this makes perfect political sense. After all, if a candidate spends all his time running in places where people hate him, then he can just keep running because he’ll never get to sit down in the Oval Office. But more than one policy analyst has noted this trend makes for terrible governance, and leads inevitably to a deeper dividing of the country.

Candidates for both parties almost always call themselves uniters. They like to say they are in the race for the good of every citizen. But keep an eye on their travels. They’re not even running for office with the whole country in mind just the 51 percent that can help them win.

­ CNN¹s Tom Foreman is a regular on AC360°/www.ac360.com and The Situation Room.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…