So what is the centre of gravity for McCain? What is it for Obama?
Let's start by seeing what The Great Man had to say on the subject more generally:
"Thus, therefore, the first consideration in the combination of a plan for a war, is to determine the centres of gravity of the enemy's power, and, if possible, to reduce them to one. " - On War, Book VI, Chapter 28
“A certain centre of gravity, a centre of power and movement, will form itself, on which everything depends; and against this centre of gravity of the enemy, the concentrated blow of all the forces must be directed.” – On War, Book VIII, Chapter 4
"By seeking out constantly the heart of the hostile power, and staking everything in order to gain all, that we can effectually strike the enemy to the ground." - On War, Book VIII, Chapter 4
"As the centre of gravity is always situated where the greatest mass of matter is collected, and as a shock against the centre of gravity of a body always produces the greatest effect, and further, as the most effective blow is struck with the centre of gravity of the power used, so it is also in war. " - On War, Book VI, Chapter 27
"We think, therefore, a theatre of war, whether large or small, with its military force, whatever may be the size of that, represents a unity which maybe reduced to one centre of gravity. At this centre of gravity the decision must take place, and to be conqueror here means to defend the theatre of war in the widest sense." - On War, Book VI, Chapter 27
With these remarks in mind, I'd welcome thoughts on what the centres of gravity for McCain and Obama might be. Options might include: Particular demographic groups, fundraising, field efforts, electoral votes, a particular theatre, a particular state, a campaign message and, I fear, more besides.
Are we looking for the equivalent of the "forces in the field" that Clausewitz so often ascribed the centre of gravity to or is it something completely different? I confess to finding this a most fascinating puzzle...