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November 4, 2008
Turnout heavy - everywhere
McCain supporters can take heart. It appears from Ben Smith's vantage point as a national political blogger, that there has been an unprecedented outpouring of voters in both Democratic and Republican areas. A few examples from Ben's emails:
At 5:20am, I arrived at the poll in Petersburg, VA (20 miles south of Richmond)
Got to the northern Virginia polling place to volunteer with the Obama campaign at 5:30 this morning. Had the pleasure of meeting an elderly man (70s-80s) who had a hip replacement in September. He walks with a walker and came with his wife today. He refused to cut the line (as elderly and disabled are allowed to do) and waited for over 2 hours in line because he wanted to be a part of history.
I am 28 and this is my 3rd Presidential election. I voted for Sen. Obama in the primary and again today. In all the elections I have voted in since I turned 18 I have never stood in line to vote. This morning I waited an hour and a half to vote. I felt the rush of history as I entered the school gym to vote. Above the door were portraits of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas imploring students "To Die or Be Free." It always feels good to vote but this election it is particularly true.
What does it mean? Intelligent speculation goes two ways; if the pollsters have undercounted Republicans (again) Johnny Mac could pull a huge surprise tonight and at the very least, make a close race of it and perhaps pull it out completely.
On the other hand, if a lot of those Republicans are voting Obama or if independents are breaking in a big way for the Democrat, it will be a short night and an Obama landslide.
One other thing; it is said that people don't wait in line if they are going to vote more of the same. That may be true, if you think that McCain represents a Bush 3rd term.
But there is another reason people will wait in line to vote for hours; they feel it vitally important, that the selection of one candidate or the other would be dangerous, or foolhardy, or detrimental to the country.
I honestly don't know what to make of this. I don't like the way these people are talking about "making history."
I guess we'll see tonight.
(btw - for anyone interested, I will be in downtown Chicago tonight at Obama's Grant Park rally covering the event for PJTV. You can catch PJTV election coverage free of charge here .)