Asked while promoting his new movie "Beer For My Horses" about the role of patriotism in the current presidential election, Keith replied: "There's a big part of America that really believes that there is a war on terrorism, and that we need to finish up.I wonder what, if any, effect that will have on country music fans, especially those in the South. I don't honestly expect that Obama will carry a solid South. In fact, I suspect we won't take Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, or Arkansas. Probably not North or South Carolina either. Georgia would be in play if Sam Nunn were the Vice Presidential pick, but I don't think that's going to happen (famous last words).
"So I thought it was beautiful the other day when Obama went to Afghanistan and got educated about Afghanistan and Iraq. He came back and said some really nice things.
"So as far as leadership and patriotism goes, I think it's really important that those things have to take place. And I think he's the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton. And that's coming from a Democrat."
But Virginia is definitely in play. I think Tennessee might be and something like that could tip it. If Keith can organize some other country musicians to do a benefit at the Grand Ole Opry, the image and sound bytes on national television would be good for picking up a few votes in the rural Midwest, which could tip Ohio, as well as some border Southern states. And beside Tennessee, I still believe Florida is in play because it's such an atypical Southern state. And who knows which other state in Dixie may surprise us. After all, an upset, by definition, is the state you never in a million years thought would flip. It's the one that surprises us all. Just as Toby Keith's startling statement today surprised a lot of pundits.