Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living in a battleground state

During the Democratic primary Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton called my house several times asking for my vote. Considering that the North Carolina primary wasn't until May, it was nice to feel wanted. A long, drawn out battle for the nomination worked in our favor. I doubt that will happen again as most primary elections are wrapped up in the first few months of a campaign. McCain didn't bother to call as he was the assured front-runner for the Republican party.

I was tickled to receive the recorded messages as that has never happened to me before. What could explain this wealth of exposure to candidates? It could be argued that this is the first time I've had a home phone during a presidential election year. Or that the first thing I did when I got to this lovely red state was register. Or maybe that for the first time in my voting life I don't live in a state where the outcome is entirely predictable (yes, I'm looking at you Massachusetts). But really, I think it all comes down to one thing. I live in a battleground state.

For the past several weeks we have been bombarded by calls from Senator Obama's campaign. Michelle Obama left us a voice mail the other day. Little old ladies called asking us to be sure and vote early. Young college students wanted to know if Obama could count on our vote. It was inspiring to think of the logistics that went into organizing the campaign in North Carolina. Joe Biden will begin a tour of the state in Charlotte today. Sarah Palin visited the rural areas (ahem, the "real" America) and told us that Obama was friends with a terrorist so we should vote for McCain.

Obama has stopped by Charlotte at least 5 times over the past 6 months. McCain? Zilch so far. The state has gone Republican for the presidential race consistently. Interestingly a Democrat usually wins the Governor's mansion even though the state leans Republican. In Charlotte, probably one of the most liberal areas of the state, we have a Republican mayor running for Governor.

This year is particularly exciting because the state could go Democrat. I love that my vote counts. Yes, intellectually I am aware that every vote counts (well, not really because of the elecorate but that's a whole other issue) but when you have lived in Massachusetts during a John Kerry race, it is pretty obvious that the home senator is going to take the state. I think Obama's campaign is being smart by getting peope out to vote early. The more votes being cast early, the sooner everyone will know where the state is going. But that raises the question, does early voting influence voting on election day? I haven't heard any statistics yet and I'm an NPR junky. But early voting is a fairly new concept. It will be interesting to see how that pans out over the next set of elections.

So far Obama is up by at least 3 points in every poll I've seen for North Carolina. With the margin of error typically at 5% that means the state could go either way. It would be so cool if North Carolina's 15 electoral votes decide the entire race. Take that, Florida! I am mailing my absentee ballot next week. And will be reassured that for this election, at least, my vote will count.


Mommy, Esq. said...

My vote doesn't count in Massachusetts. This reads like it was written by Jeremy. I'd think he'd be fielding the calls since he works from home. You should post about why it rocks he works at home.

Helen said...

Your vote doesn't count Kristin 'cause your vote is wrong!

ha ha