For this election year, editors at The New York Times asked a few prominent writers to send periodic reports about how the campaigns were faring in their parts of the country. They wisely chose Kansas Citian Whitney Terrell (author of The Huntsman and The King of Kings County) to represent those of us in the heartland. We loved picking up the Sunday "Week in Review" section and reading about our hometown. Way back in December, for example, Terrell wrote about how the war in Iraq had complicated standard political slogans; he demonstrated this by describing how he took a poll of his UMKC students and found that all of them wanted the war to end, but none of them knew which candidate would be able to end it. In March, Terrell used 3rd District Kansas City, Missouri, School Board candidate Airick Leonard West's campaign to illustrate the urban-vs.-rural, black-vs.-white divide in Missouri voting patterns. "To take on the status quo, you need to transcend a single group," West told Terrell. "We can't just win the cities," he said of Democrats. "That's the old strategy." That reminded Terrell of lunch with a friend in Warrensburg, where a Clinton supporter predicted that rural Democrats would vote for McCain. We're all waiting to see how it all turns out.