Tuesday, November 4, 2008

About Tonight

Newsweek.com has a good piece on how to watch the election results:

6 PM EST. Polls close in portions of Indiana and Kentucky.

Traditionally, these are the first states to get called by the networks, spotting the Republicans a quick 19 points in the Electoral College. This year, however, is liable to be a little bit different. Indiana is far more competitive than usual, and is probably the state with the greatest disparity in ground games: the Obama campaign has 42 field offices open there, whereas McCain neglected the state entirely until recently.

The responsible thing to do would be for the networks to hold off until at least 7 PM to project Indiana, when polls have closed in Gary and the northwestern part of the state just across the border from Chicago—where Obama hopes to rack up huge margins among black and working-class voters. If for some reason the state is called before 7 PM for John McCain, that probably means we're in for a long night. If, on the other hand, the state is called for Obama in the first hour after the polls close, that could indicate that the force of Obama's field operation has been underestimated, and that McCain is in for a catastrophically poor evening.
There's more.

I got to my polling place at 8:00 this morning and there were about three hundred people in line in front of me. The process took me a little over two hours, which is much, much longer than it ever has before. I found myself feeling a little awestruck by it all.

Tonight I'll be at Busboys and Poets with some friends, watching history happen. Oui, on peut!


mike said...

I only waited 90 minutes in line to vote. The line was all indoors; earlier in the day it had been out the door. I'd never seen anything like it, but even more strikingly, nobody was complaining. First-time voters were taking pictures of each other in line. Mothers were telling their kids that people had died so we could stand in this line. The PTA bake sale by the front door had been loaded onto AV carts and kids were working the line with brownies and cupackes and even an electric crock of chili.

People were tired of standing, sure. A fiftyish African-American woman peering down the line said, "Once we get around the bend, I'll feel a little bit better." And I thought: That pretty well sums up the whole election.

(So does Tennyson: Come, my friends, tis not too late to seek a newer world.)

An Briosca Mor said...

I walked into the school across the road from my house to vote around 4:00, right after I got home from work, and was out of there two minutes later. No line whatsoever. The line was out the door though when I drove by before 7:00 this morning, and I bet it was again before the polls closed at 7:00 tonight.

Interestingly, I thought I would have to make a special request to get a paper ballot instead of voting electronically, but they had everyone voting on paper ballots (optical scan). This was supposed to be the last election in VA for electronic voting machines, but it looks like my precinct got the jump on that. Yay!

11:00 pm and they still haven't called VA for Obama yet. But he's ahead and I'm sure they will. Maybe VA can put him over the top. And BTW, Tes, if you're reading this it looks like Lynchburg went blue - an island in a sea of red. Way to go! Jerry Falwell is probably rolling in his grave right now.

T said...

...I *think* Lynchburg eventually went to McCain, but by a fairly small margin--yes, I just looked on CNN, and they're saying McCain got L-burg by about 1,500 votes (with a total of between 33,000 and 34,000 votes). I wonder if they wound up tallying absentee ballots...but whatever--it doesn't matter, thank goodness!

I'm delighted that VA is now a "blue" state, and I hope that all the ridiculous blue/red state stuff will eventually become a relic of a far-too-divided past.

Rob said...

The crowd I was in was chanting "o-BA-ma, o-BA-ma, o-BA-ma," and when word came that Virgina had gone to Obama, they all started chanting "Vir-GIN-ia, Vir-GIN-ia, Vir-GIN-ia."

It was all just SO INCREDIBLY COOL.

Melissa said...

Ditto what tes said...even with a fairly sizable black population, I'm certain Lynchburg has leaned *much* further "red" in previous elections. Virginia is starting to feel even more like home today! :)

An Briosca Mor said...

I was basing my Lynchburg conjecture on something I saw on one of the networks at some point during the election night coverage. They had their big screen TV map up, and the anchor touched Virginia and it zoomed into a county-by-county map showing the results. In the midst of a sea of red counties, there was one blue speck, and they made a point of saying that it was Lynchburg and what that meant. Too bad that it switched later as more returns came in.

As I told some folks last night at the session, I knew Obama was going to win after I talked with my mother over the weekend and she said she would be voting for him. I don't know how it happened, but I'm the only Democrat in my family. My grandfather hated FDR, and even though they're Catholic my parents took Nixon over JFK. It's probably good it was Obama and not Hillary this time, because I bet my mom would have taken McCain over Hillary.

T said...

With the exception of Reuben (I assume!), I'm the only non-Republican in my family, too...and I have *no idea* how anyone else in the family voted....