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Buchanan County: A Key for Missouri

August 27th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

From Medill Reports – Washington

By Manuel Baigorri

WASHINGTON – In northwest Missouri, Buchanan County is an area that both Barack Obama and John McCain are likely to keep a close eye on as they battle for votes in the nation’s heartland. Why is this small area so important?

Maybe because both the Democrats and Republicans regard Buchanan County as a bellwether of what may happen in Missouri in the general election in November.

“Buchanan seems to be a microcosm of the state because it has a large urban population (and) a fairly rural population that is indicative of what the whole state is,” said Bob Ott, chairman of the Buchanan County Republican Committee.

With only four villages and three cities, including St. Joseph, the largest with more than 70,000 residents, the county’s population has remained flat in the last few years. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in 2007 there were 86,485 people living in the county, a roughly 2 percent increase compared with 2004.

Buchanan County represents a small portion of the almost 6 million Missourians, but it is emblematic of the importance of rural communities in the upcoming general election, say experts, the Obama and McCain campaigns and local officials. Read more…

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