The latest survey to show a traditionally red state potentially swinging to Obama if Palin is the Republican nominee comes out of Tennessee. A Vanderbilt University survey found Obama at 42 percent to 37 percent for Palin even though nearly 54 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job the president is doing. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the state in 2008 by 15 points.
Tennessee hasn’t been red forever, however. Bill Clinton won the state in 1992 and 1996. But Obama doesn’t have the geographic connection Clinton had with Southern voters; and the South has only become more Republican in the past decade and a half.
Recent polls have also found Obama and Palin running competitively in South Carolina, Georgia and South Dakota . In Nebraska, a poll found Palin at 45 percent to Obama’s 44 percent.
The last time America had a serious landslide was 1984, when Reagan mopped the floor with Walter Mondale (Reagan won by 18%, while Obama won by 7% in 2008, Bush won by 2.4% in 2004). Palin could hand Obama his own ’84, with the role of the Gipper played by Hopey.