Friday, October 17, 2008

Time to Fight

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire--where it was clear that he has refined his stump speech for the ultimate power of a closer--Obama warned his supporters against complacency. And he's right. The polls are apt to contract (although probably not right away--the last debate bump starts showing up Friday), and even with lots of early voting, the real fight lies ahead.

Fortunately the stage is set, since the Obama campaign paid such attention to organizing and gathering the resources for just this moment. But it's going to take more than hope, or talk, or for that matter, blogging. So even though I've stepped back from most campaign activity--leaving it to the younger generations who frankly are going to do it better--I will be making calls in these final days.

And vigilance plus support of those who are more active are also important. Vigilance for the kind of desperate robo-calls the McCain campaign--not 527 groups, not even the RNC, but the McCain campaign itself--are making. Like this one and this one and these two.

Vigilance for voter suppression tactics, as is happening in Ohio--although this year, it's a Democratic state government, and the Ohio Secretary of State has announced that she's going to fight hard against attempts to disenfranchise 200,000 voters.

Other Thursday news: Five Thirty Eight does its regular mid-monthly projections of battleground states--the last one!--and projects Obama to win 364 electoral votes, with 169 for McCain, and 5 a tossup...The Washington Post endorses Obama: "Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president." And Lawrence O'Donnell--one of the few voices I attend to, though I don't always agree--predicts that Colin Powell will soon endorse Obama.

About that early voting: there were some interesting reports about how Obama is dominating early voting in five states, and about the lines in Atlanta-- some white voters abandoned them after awhile, but not a single black voter did. In the Five Thirty Eight thread linked above, a comment from Kenyada explained: "I’m not sure you understand. This vote is 400 years in the making...This is not only a vote for a candidate; it is a vote for America, the America we heard about from our parents and their parents, across the generations. Freedom and Liberty sound so trite these days, but I remember those words spoken by my Dad on his way to the March on Washington. January 20th will be a dream fulfilled."

But before January 20 comes November 4, as well as early voting wherever it occurs. There's work ahead. It's time to fight for every vote.

Update: This comprehensive piece in salon notes that the first day of early voting in North Carolina (which was Thursday) saw big turnout, predominately African American. Some battleground states, the piece states, could see as much as half of the vote in early voting. Half the registered voters in Colorado have requested mail-in ballots. Yet states like PA that don't have early voting--and even those that do--may not be prepared for the sheer number of voters on election day.

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