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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Three little piggies...

Gavin Allen
Gavin Allen
Editor - The Politics Show

It was the pigs wot won it.

Well maybe not actually won it, but certainly gave a curly tailed pointer as to which way the race was going to go.

Last Sunday we helpfully offered an exclusive preview to the eventual outcome of the US election two days before the actual vote took place.

Visiting Virginia, the Politics Show stumbled across the truly rural pursuit of pig-racing - and in this special quadrennial case a Pigidential Race.

Pig racing

I won't ask you if pun-wise you "geddit?".

You will. It's not hard.

It was a race between Boarack Oinkbama and Pig McCain.

Yes I know - poor old Senator John even came out second best in the creative naming stakes.

And, as it happened, not just in that. In the muddy pig race too, Oinkbama came through to win by a hefty snout.

Symbolic?

Well perhaps, but that's not actually the primary pig element I had in mind.

Believe it or not, there were two distinct pig sections in the programme (cue sound of Lord Reith quietly turning in grave).

The second came during presenter Jon Sopel's shopping trip to a political memorabilia store in Washington.

Lipstick on a pig badge

It emerged there that the Sarah Palin lipstick-on-a-pig badge (think lipstick on a pitbull and Obama's "if you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig" jibe) had been selling way slower than the I love Barack bumper sticker.

It was a tiny snapshot, but a sign surely from the shoppers that the popular vote was going the Democrats' way.

They weren't putting their hard-earned money where McCain's (or in this case Palin's) mouth was.

And fitting that it should be a consumer indicator. As ever with elections it's the economy, stupid.

Pig racing

For all the talk of a transformed America, it was arguably not so much the content of Obama's character that persuaded voters to tick his box, but the plummeting (Republican-led) state of the economy.

Look at the polls - McCain really started to fall behind only when he appeared to act rather erratically over the economic rescue plan.

From there on in, confidence in the economy became increasingly tied in the public mind to confidence in McCain - as the first plunged so did the second.

So who says it's all over for the Republicans?

News of their death may be greatly exaggerated.

Pig racing

After all, the deeply unpopular George W Bush won't be there in 4 years.

Turning red?

Memories of the Iraq War and the recession will - hopefully - at least have receded if not disappeared.

It'll have been down to the Democrats for four years to deliver an economic rescue plan.

And the by-then President Obama's war-chest ($10 for every Obama voter) can't possibly be as vast, can it?

With the right candidate, some of those newly-blue states could yet return to their traditional red.

How will we know?

Check out the memorabilia stores and tune in to the 2012 Virginian hog-to-hog race.

Perhaps Boar-ack won't have it all his own way - might it instead be worth a crafty flutter on Sow-rah Piglin?

You read it here first...

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