It’s on!

4 11 2008

AFP:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Americans opened the voting in their historic election on Tuesday, with front-running Democrat Barack Obama seeking to become the first black president and his Republican rival John McCain hoping for a poll-defying comeback.

After an epic campaign , voters could also spark a political realignment in Washington, with Democrats targeting big gains in the Senate and House of Representatives after eight turbulent years under President George W. Bush.

Polls opened in the northeastern state of Vermont at 5:00 am (1000 GMT), an electoral official at a polling station in the town of Bennington told AFP by telephone.

History’s longest, most costly White House campaign ended with Obama the hot favorite, enjoying wide leads in national polls and the edge in a string of battleground states which could swing the election either way.

[. . .]

With polls showing 90 percent of voters believe the United States is on the wrong track, Obama should be a lock for victory — but whether his race or perceived lack of experience could give voters pause is an intangible.

McCain aides dispute poll numbers favoring Obama, and point to a late tightening of surveys in key states to argue he can still win.

A Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll put Obama ahead 51 percent to 43. A Washington Post-ABC News poll said the race was so far Obama’s by 54 percent to 43, and Rasmussen had him up 51 percent to McCain’s 46.

The final Gallup Daily tracking poll before the election day said Obama was leading the race 53 percent to 42 percent. A CNN poll published just hours before voting started gave Obama a narrower seven-point lead, 51 to 44 percent.

The Democrat has an easier path to the 270 electoral votes and has a small but solid lead in many of the battleground states needed to win the White House. He may have built an advantage as millions of Americans voted early.

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3 responses

4 11 2008
OzAtheist

I keep seeing in the media that one of the biggest problems is that many people think that because Obama is in the lead in the polls they don’t need to go and vote for him. WTF??

As I just posted, and to any Americans reading this – Americans, go and VOTE!

4 11 2008
cmotdibbler

With the economy in shambles, fighting two wars and one of the most despised president/vice president combos I find it hard to believe that the race is is this close. Anything other than a landslide is unacceptable. I’m not mentioning any specific political parties or candidates since I don’t know the policy of this blog, but it should be obvious.
Get up and vote, lines be damned!

5 11 2008
Hannah Friedman

I am 22 and I’d like to capture my thoughts before America either elects a president who its first 26 presidents could have legally owned, or brazenly subverts the very ideals it was founded upon by manipulating numbers in a final embarrassingly overt goosestep towards corporate totalitarianism.

I am nervous. And not night-before-the-swim-test nervous or even night-you-lose-your-virginity nervous, it’s a low rumbling primal panic which I can only liken to Star Wars panic. Disney panic. The edge-of-your-seat-terror that makes you wonder if Skywalker’s doomed after he refuses to join Darth Vader and drops down into the abyss, if the wicked octopus or grand vizier or steroid-pumping-village-misogynist is going to wed/kill/skin the dashing prince and then evil people in dark funny costumes are going to take over the world… if it wasn’t a movie of course.

And tonight it’s not. It’s not a movie and yet I feel like Obama might as well be wearing an American flag cape while a decaying McCain, in a high-tech robotic spider wheelchair wearing an eyepatch and stroking an evil cat, gives orders to a sexy scheming Palin who marches back and forth through their sub-terranian campaign lair in four inch thigh-highs and full-body black leather catsuit bossing around the evangelical ants with a loooooong whip… umm… is this just me?

Anyway, the point is that things feel weird folks. I have friends who have peed in waterbottles to keep from interrupting a Halo-playing marathon who got off their asses/couches to volunteer for the Obama campaign not once, but many times. Friends so cheap their body content is at least 1/3 Ramen Noodle who donated a good deal of their hard-earned cash to the campaign. People have registered to vote in record numbers, and yet, something just doesn’t feel right. I think we should stop congratulating ourselves for just voting. To vote is a privilege which people have died for, and I think there’s a whole lot more to be done for the country than to simply help win an election every 4 years.

Hundreds of millions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of man-hours spent on both sides by good-intentioned people who want to make a difference in an historic election, so many resources and voices and energies devoted to a single day. After tomorrow, half of that is going to have been a waste. And I can’t help but wonder what could have happened if all that muscle had been put towards something else, and what will happen to its momentum after the election has come and gone. Shouldn’t we be donating our money to good causes whenever we can? Helping people who don’t have? Dedicating some of our time to contribute to making the country which provides for us a better place? Of course a power shift is a hugely significant step on the path to great reform, but worrying about this election has been a wakeup call for me:

Even if Obama wins, we have not “won.” This isn’t a movie and we can’t toss every greedy lobbyist oil fatcat bigot down a reactor shaft. I think if we dedicate ourselves to the ongoing welfare of the country as much as we have to the outcome of this election, we’ll have a much better shot at coming closer to the overwhelming good the liberals hope Obama will usher in, but which no mere mortal could fully realize alone.

Which brings me to the other side. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that if McCain wins, they’re leaving. I heard the same thing about Bush’s reelection, and his unelection before that, and nobody seems to be leaving. And that’s fine. Because as much as I complain about certain political happenings, atrocities, etc., I really do like it here and I suspect most other people do too. We have New York and Hollywood, purple mountain’s majesty and sea to shining sea, we created jazz and country music and baseball and cars and lightbulbs and computers and that movie with hundreds of animated singing Chihuahuas! I mean who among the shivering Plymouth pilgrims ever imagined ordering hundreds of animated singing chihuahuas onto a magical box from an invisible information superweb?

The point being, if things don’t turn out the way I want tomorrow, I feel compelled, as a college-graduated adultish-type-person, to take a stand. And if I’m going to leave I’m going to leave. But if I’m going to stay I’m not going to sit around whining like I have for the past 8 years. It’s like when I don’t clean my room because it’s dirty and then I blame the dirt. So in my very indecisive way, before you and your screen, I’m declaring my intention to make some kind of stand in the event of -(Ican’tevensayit)-, and encouraging you to consider making one too…

Jump the ship or grab a bucket?
-Sigh-
Wasn’t everything so much easier back when the worst possible affront to your values was a PB&J sandwich cut diagonally with crust?

Anyways, I guess what I’m saying is that if we’re going to stay on board, we should probably be generous with our time and resources when times are tough even more than when the hero saves the day. Because what if he doesn’t? And what if he can’t? If we’re serious about real change, election day should only be the beginning of “Yes we can,” not the end.

Best,
Hannah Friedman
http://www.writinghannah.blogspot.com

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