As you watch the CNN coverage of the Democratic National Convention, notice the state banners in the background. I was in the hall today, walking around the convention floor, and it’s uncanny: The Kerry campaign has configured the floor delegations so those from key battleground states will usually be in the picture as a backdrop. Not all the battleground states, mind you, but the choice is interesting, for it almost suggests a Kerry victory strategy.

Oh, there are the delegations from Massachusetts and North Carolina, all right, which have the best seats in the house, front-row before the beautifully lit, high-tech stage. Setting aside South Dakota's nice positioning (maybe Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle had something to do with that), the sweep of the CNN shot includes Michigan, Oregon, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, all states where polls show a close race. Big Blue States leaning strongly toward Kerry like New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey have good seats, but they’re not in the picture. And pity delegates from Red States like Texas, Nebraska, Indiana, and South Carolina. They’re in the nosebleeds with the Guam and Puerto Rico delegations. Most interesting is that Tennessee and Missouri are close--both in polls and on the fringe of the panoramic shot on the convention floor--but don’t make the prime shot cut. Do the Democrats know something we don’t?

CNN has a huge chunk of primo floor space that has probably displaced 100 delegates. The networks have the same camera angle, but they are up high. CNN will have the most extensive coverage of the convention, with the exception of C-Span, and the demographics of CNN now skew Democratic, with most conservatives getting their news from FOX. DNC Chief Terry McAuliffe knows this will be the best way to reach Kerry/Edwards voters.

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