The more the economy tanks, the more traditionally Republican voters will move to Obama. This is why I've dubbed these people "Stealth Obama Voters". In an era of the country where blatant honesty is still often smoothed over by euphemism, many unlikely Democratic voters will either remain silent about who they voted for, or lie and claim they didn't cast their ballots in the manner they did. Deception aside, the end result will be the same. Though McCain will comfortably win this state's electoral college vote, I predict the final tally will be much closer than the polls would indicated.
Had we not been in an economic crisis, one wouldn't have seen much of this phenomenon. Don't get me wrong. There will, of course, be some partisan loyalists who will never cast a vote for any Democrat, no matter what the circumstances, but in conversation with some local residents, I've found several who sing a different tune. Off the record, of course. No one wants to be quoted as such. Nor, certainly, will anyone admit to voting for George W. Bush, but I remember seeing their W stickers and I know they did.
In a sublime moment of irony, I realize that the roles have reversed in half a century. In my Grandparent's generation, voting Republican was seen as a sense of shame. Damaging rumors revolved around people who dared to vote against Saint Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose New Deal completely restored the region from abject poverty. We might very well need another New Deal, the way the market continues to tank and the farther we slip into a severe recession. But as for societal trends, so much depends on circumstance and uncertainty that I'm not making much of a prediction either way.