The story circulating today that Barack Obama has pulled his campaign out of North Dakota to redeploy resources to Minnesota has missed an interesting question: What were they doing there in the first place?
The contest is over in North Dakota where John McCain enjoys a double-digit lead over Obama. Earlier this year the state was rated a toss-up, but that was just North Dakota having some fun.
Let’s count how many times North Dakota has voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1936.
Once. 1964. It was a testament to the landslide of Lyndon Johnson that year that even Lyndon Johnson couldn’t mess up in North Dakota.
In 2004, John Kerry won only four counties, which is two more than Al Gore won in 2000. The closest presidential race in North Dakota in modern times was 1976, when Jimmy Carter’s ag background played almost well enough to win the state.
In its storied history as a state, North Dakota has voted Democrat only three times, and one of those times was when a North Dakota congressman ran for president.