Photo of the Day: Early Voting Edition

By Al Giordano

This photo - make sure to credit photographer Lisa Bocook and The Field - is so about go viral.

It comes with a dispatch from North Carolina Field Hand Mark Tyson, in the western mountain region:

The guy who created these signs is named Clinton Slagle. He's got a confederate tattoo on his arm. He strolled into our headqtrs back during the primary looking for a sign, saying Obama was the only person who made any sense to him....

Mark adds:

In the meantime, we're still focusing on early voting. I'm tracking our local early turnout numbers vs overall turnout in 2004 for Swain County.  My private target is 50% early vote vs 2004 overall, and so far, we're tracking slightly ahead of the pace needed to hit that. We'll see....

NCDem at DKos sees a potential for banking as much as half the North Carolina vote prior to Election Day:

I predict that we will approach the 70% mark in total votes, which will be a huge destruction of previous marks. I'll also predict that we have almost 50% of the total votes completed before November 4th.

And early voting is now spreading to other swing states. From Chuck Todd and company at NBC:

Over the weekend two states -- Texas and Nevada -- started voting without excuse. And today, voters in seven more states -- including battlegrounds Colorado (where Palin is today) and Florida (where Obama and Hillary Clinton are together) -- can go to the polls. Also, Nevada political guru Jon Ralston noted that the early-voting returns in his state seem to be in Dems' favor. "Of the 25,000-plus who voted early, 15,644 were Democrats and 5,721 were Republicans, according to Clark County Election Department records. If that trends holds, this won't be a wave; it'll be a tsunami. Republicans had a lead on the first day of mail ballot tallying -- 5,407 to 4,947. So overall, it's 20,591 to 11,128." 

Ben Smith notes - and it's true - that Democrats always boast about early voting, citing a 2004 Las Vegas Review News story:

In Clark County, Democrats voted in greater numbers than Republicans on each of the first three days of the 14-day early voting period. Overall, Democrats had a lead of 2,104 voters.

Democrats increased turnout on each of the days, edging Republicans 45 to 41 percent Saturday, 45 to 40 percent Sunday and 46 to 40 percent Monday.

I'm surprised, though, that the usually observant Smith missed two illuminating points:

1. The statistically signficant gap between the '04 numbers in Clark County and the '08 numbers today: Democrats have gone from 45 percent of ballots cast by Democratic voters on the first two days of early voting four years ago to 62 percent on Saturday and Sunday. That's a Democratic advance of 40 percent over its '04 numbers. And GOP voters don't seem to be too motivated in Greater Vegas: they went from 40.5 percent of ballots cast in the first two days of '04 to just 23 percent this past weekend (apparently Palin has not, contrary to the spin, "fired up the base" in that part of the country; maybe it's not "pro-American" enough, Governor?). And with Democrats tied with Republicans in Clark County absentee ballots - that's the senior citizen population, mainly, where McCain does better on paper - I'd agree with Ralston's sense that there's an upset brewing in Nevada.

(Update: Smith has added a second post on the matter, making that very point.)

2. The first two days of early voting in Clark County were prescient indicators of the final result four years ago. Think of it this way: the earliest two days of early voting in Clark County four years ago showed a five point advantage for Democrats, and Kerry won 52 percent there to Bush's 47, a five percent margin. More than 60 percent of the Nevada vote comes from Clark County (Las Vegas metropolitan area).

So, Kerry lost Nevada by about 22,000 votes, while winning Clark County by 26,000. That means that in the rest of the state he had a deficit of 48,000 votes.

Even if turnout stays only at 2004 levels (about 800,000 voters, 500,000 of them in Clark County), if we project the difference between early voting by party affiliation onto the eventual result, that means potentially that Obama might rack up a 150,000 vote margin of victory this time in Clark County. To offset that, McCain would have to win 75 percent of all votes in the rest of the state, where Bush got about 58 percent. And my informed guess is that upstate Obama will over-perform the Kerry results (just as he over-performed in the upstate caucuses last January).

Nevada is one of the swing states that I have considered to be closest - like Ohio and Florida - and most likely for a long night of counting before it can be called. These early voting tallies are causing me to reassess that, and suggest a final statewide result in Nevada closer to Obama 55 percent, McCain 45. (I'll do a more exhaustive math prior to Election Day, but that's the thumbnail version of what Nevada looks like to The Field right now.)

I can't wait to see and compare today's early voting numbers in Florida and Colorado to those four years ago. It won't shock me at all if they're similar to the voting storm that is inundating North Carolina and Nevada.

Also: Wisconsin Field Hands are organizing to leaflet the long lines into Thursday's noontime Obama appearance to invite people to our talk on Thursday night: The Organizing of the President: What's Next for the Obama Movement After the Election? 

Contact Field Hand Kurt Squire to join in that organizing. And if you have a blog or an email list with Wisconsin readers, please plug the event.

(Update: The Obama campaign - likely figuring that Wisconsin is his anyway, and that the candidate would spend his time better in other states - has just cancelled the Thursday Madison event. That means Obama's upcoming schedule has him 100 percent in "red" states won by Bush in '04. The show goes on, of course, with our own event later that day.)

And I'll be meeting with Chicago Field Hands on Friday evening in the Windy City. They're busy organizing the venue for what will be both social event and organizing session. If you're in the area, do join the conversation.

Update II: We need just $108 dollars to go to meet our Florida reporting goal. Who wants to be the one to put us over the top?

Update III: Thanks everybody who donated. We've now met our goal and will be reporting from Florida starting next weekend.

Comments

Beautiful

That picture made my freaking day. A reminder to me that while I'm denouncing racism in other people, I need to make sure that I'm not judging a book by its cover either.

Nov 6

Just popping in (since I can't make a comment in the current thread at Field Hands without joining the Chicago group) to say I'm actively watching and waiting to see what plans are made for Nov 6.

Is it likely to be an all-day event, morning, evening? If I decide I can afford to go, I'll need to figure out how much work to take off and for which times to purchase train tickets.

Thanks to everyone putting in the effort to organize all of this.

PPP NC Poll

Mail-In Vote in Florida

Chalk up two more votes for Obama in FL.  My partner and I mailed in our absentee ballots over the weekend.  It was so great to finally get to cast a GE vote for this man I have supported from the beginning.

Voter caging and disenfranchisement question

Al,

I have two questions regarding vote suppresion by the GOP.

 

1) Didn't you anounce that you are going to post something about that topic? Or did I somehow miss that post?

 

2) Considering the massive early voting, are provisional ballots checked immediately, i.e. that voters who have been purged have more time to set things straight?

Early Voting is a Hedge against GOP scams.

The changed underlying structure of a general election is a big part of the story. The change in primary schedules made each primary fairly significant and the changes in voting windows will probably make vote theft and invalidation schemes harder for either party to initiate as there is lead time to sort it out and the early voters act as an early warnng for problem areas.

I wonder how the Oct 15th 401k statements have impacted things, as a free Gov reminder that the W kleptocracy has bled millions of people for tens of thousands of dollars they painfully saved? It is an elephant in the room story.

The shill media is tip toeing around it.

And the Powell endorsement is one for the ages. I sense a bit of the disdain ground grunts have for fly boys. General Powell spent his Vietnam period going on harrowing small unit patrols and fishing people out of burning helicopters.

McCain spent his tossing innaccurate bombs on ineptly identified targets in a manner most haphazard until his fateful meeting with whatever totaled his aircraft. Jeez it's like he never left..haphazardly tossing bombs on ineptly identified targets.

 

Sweet

Im a bit less depressed from this morning's McCain rally footage.  This photo rocks.  Someone from MC's camp should go try to tell this guy he's Un-American and see how they get treated, hahahaha!  -thumbs up-

The real photog credit

I'd like to claim credit, but the actual photographer of the Clinton Slagle photo is my friend Lisa Bocook, who did the artwork and the stenciling for the signs. I'll just take credit for forwarding it to Al ;-)

 

- Mark T

Confederates for Obama

This photo reminded me of something I saw here in the Nashville area  two or three weeks ago:  on the back of a pick-up truck this guy had put an Obama-Biden bumper sticker and right next to it a small Confederate flag bumper sticker.  You could only draw one conclusion:  this guy was for Obama.

Confederate Flag

Too many people think that the confederate flag has something to do with racism.  It doesn't.  It just simply doesn't.  In the beginning (but after the civil war), there were many southerners who still believed in the ideas of the confederacy.  Among them, some were behaving in a racist way.  And so, the idea that the confederate flag has something to do with racism was born.  Because of that idea, a number of modern racists use the confederate flag as a symbol of their beliefs.  This simply creates a feedback loop which overlooks the truth of the matter.  The truth is, some people believe in the ideas of the confederacy and racism was not one of those ideas.  Any libertarian, any individual who promotes a states rights above having a large, central government believes in the basic premise of the confederacy.

Rural Nevada

I spent last weekend canvassing in rural NV as part of the GOTV effort.  Without giving away any specifics, I will let you know that I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of Obama support I encountered from men and women of all ages.  My personal experience echoes Al's intuition about Obama's ability to outperform Kerry in these regions.

I was able to recruit several volunteers from among these supporters as well. 

check your total, Al

You should be over the top now...

CNN: With Colorado Gone, McCain Strategy Is To Flip PA.

It looks like McCain has given up on Colorado and is looking to flip Pa. Wow! That's a long shot.  I was wondering why they kept going back to Pa. at this point.  That's a pretty thin thread to hang your hat on. But then if that's all you've got.....

 

http://thepage.time.com/2008/10/20/king-of-the-world-says-mccain-pretty-...

 

 

Me too

For sure now it should be over the top.  (Put in my two bits.)

Ouch

This direct hit on Palin tastes real good and has to be shared. Enjoy it as much as I did! 

 

Timely photo

I just launched http://welcomebackamerica.org/ specifically for photos like this one. I would love to get Mr. Slagle to submit this photo (how might I contact him?) and everyone here to do the same!

Early Voting in Illinois!!

and nobody cares...:) Actually there is a LOT of excitement here and I hope this is a huge popular vote number for Obama. I'm not reading about a lot of early voting problems (I think there are 31 states that offer early voting) so hopefully that will carry through on election day.

Al, Why is McCain is now aiming for PA ? Is there a strategy or

tactic (whatever) here ? And FL poll lead seem to be shrinking ? Is it all just noise ?

amk

Obama's Grandmother Ill -- Wisconsin Cancellation

Hey Al, All,

MSNBC reports Obama flying to Hawaii due to illness of Madelyn Dunham (Obama's grandmother).

Hope they take care out there -- best wishes.

About Obama's cancelation on Thursday

Al, Rachael Maddow is reporting that O-man is going to Hawaii on Thursday to be with his grandmother.  Said her health has steadily deteriorated. 

@ Hogger 5:20 re Confederate Flag

I'm not a history expert but every time I've seen the Confederate Flag or read about it (and I'm a fairly high information person), it's been in the context of something most (all?) would consider very anti-African American.  Also, 'states rights' was one of the fundamental 'legal' rationales used to advance and maintain segregation, et. al. in the South.  Although you suggest the original intent of the confederacy was not racist, its use in my lifetime (I'm an AA boomer) has always been utilized to symbolize a racist agenda.  Even if what you suggest is true, I think it would take a generation or two to disassociate the confederate flag and racism.

 

Link to news....

Oh my God, cancellation has 2 L's

I knew that cancellation has 2 l's but failed to fully proofread my comment.  Gee, I hope Pam, aka, waterprise2 has already put away her red pin!!

Rasmussen Polls

Colorado: Obama 51 McCain 46 Florida: McCain 49 Obama 48

Missouri: Obama 49 McCain 44 North Carolina: Obama 51 McCain 48 Ohio: McCain 49 Obama 47

Re: Confederate Flag

Yeah and hitler reversed the direction of an ancient buddhist religous symbol and used it as a symbol of the nazis, a symbol which would quickly come to mean horror, death and violence in the minds of the world. The word "gay" now means homosexual more than happy and jovial. These are just 2 examples of meanings changing, I don't think that either of these modern meanings will ever be "disassociated" or return to their original meanings at least as far as I can see in the next few hundred years.

Just a point on that logic, not necessarily related to the picture or making a personal comment on anything in particular.

Early voting in Colorado

Early voting started today in Colorado. There was a march on the Colorado University campus to the polling place. I was excited to be there!

Marchers

Polling Place Sign


Judge

The basis of the argument is ...?  A guy with a tattoo of a confederate flag doesn't exactly appear to me to have a solid track record of educated decision making.

Clarification

Slight clarification for those non-southerners:

The confederate flag has a dual meaning in the south:

1) A flag that represents what the confederate army fought for

2) A symbol of the south.

It's hard to defend it - trust me, it takes some getting used to around here - but a lot of people here use the confederate flag as a symbol of southern culture.

Obama's Grandma

Such sad news. I hope that Cokie Roberts regrets her crappy comment back in August.

Roberts: ...going off this week I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be at Myrtle Beach and if he's going to take a vacation at this time. I just think this is not the time to do that.

Cokie - Visiting your Grandma isn't a good enough reason if she happens to live in one of those states that isn't what you and Palin consider "pro-American"? "Exotic" is just a DC insider term for anti-American?

Durham County NC early voting

Durham county will be the bluest county in NC, and should go for Obama by at least 40 points (went for Kerry around 36 points).  Hopefully will provide a margin of 60,000 on its own.  Already had 24,000 voters as of this evening, out of 190,000 registered voters.  Thats 13% of the total registered voters, and 22% of the total vote from 2004 (110K).  Early voting typically is heavier the 2nd and third week, if so we'll easily get over 50% of registered voters, hopefully on our way to an 85% turnout.

Terrific

I love this picture.

Love it.

Arrest and an admission...

Arrest made in widening GOP voter registration fraud scandal

http://calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7226

 

MI Republicans admit to illegal foreclosure scheme

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2008/10/20/mi-republicans-admit-to-ill...

confederate flag

@ Cheryl, NJ - I grew up in Louisiana and learned a pro-Confederate view of history in school.  I think what we heard about slavery was cleaned up and apologetic.

When I graduated from high school, my view of the Confederate Flag was a lot like Hogger's.  I remember being deeply disappointed to learn, in college, that the rest of the country considers it a racist symbol, and that it is sometimes used that way in earnest.

Outside the South, I think the meaning is generally racist. Inside the South the Confederate flag gets used as a statement of philosophy and lifestyle that may or may not include racism.  Or conscious racism, anyway.

Interesting Article

I was doing some poking around on the predictive abilities of the polls and found that 1980 was way off.  I had not realized this.  I knew Reagan came on strong at the end but I didn't realize it was virutally off the radar.  Many things have changed and with polling being so much more prevalent, it seems that the average of ALL these polls should be more accurate today.  Not sure how all this can be applied to this election but I found this article interesting.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924541-1,00.html

Early voting would have perhaps led to different results in that election.  With a 10 point lead, Reagan would have won anyway but it is interesting to think about how people voting over time have different inputs.  If 5% of the population really did swing to Reagan at the very end, how would those folks have voted two weeks earlier?  Pure speculation....just thought I'd share since I came across it.

@anonymous 10:08 re confederate flag

Since I used the word 'disassociate' in commenting about the confederate flag, I conclude your comment was in response to mine.

My intent was to suggest that, whatever its origin,  it would take a long time to reverse how the confederate flag is perceived  because it has been most often (always?) used as the premiere symbol of racism.   Your phrasing was much more direct.  I guess I should have been more direct too.  As you suggested a few hundred years sounds about right.

Georgia Early Voting

 

I stood in line in Cobb County, GA for just short of two hours on October 13th.  The poll workers said the shortest line they'd had so far was 45 minutes and that was back in September (Early Voting started Sept. 19th).

12% of Georgia Voters have voted:

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/stories/2008/10/20/georgia_early_vote.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13

The black and female vote have been 35.5% and 56.1% of the total votes, respectively.  The 2006 Georgia Census Population estimates put the actual demographic percentages at 29.9% and 50.1%, respectively.

 

I'm trying to find it on 538, but I believe Nate had the magic number at 35% (I think it was in one of his Senate posts)...

Georgia Early Voting (update)

Confederate Flag

In England when I was little, the English flag of St George had been co-opted by far right groups like the in the same way that the Confederate flag has here. It is now mostly associated with the football (soccer) team due to the Euro 96 tournament and the need to wave something at the Scots, Irish and Welsh.

Can we arrange a North v South college football tournament to do the same in America? I'm designing a 'Northern Pride' flag but I don't know how to draw arugula.

early voting and VBM

Vote-by-mail voting patterns in Oregon hold lessons for the rest of the country.  We have been tracking turnout daily during the election vote by mail (VBM) period since 1996.  The patterns there are likely to be found anywhere, though the details and emphasis may be somewhat different.

 

Every election period we go through what we call "matchback and ballot chase."

Matchback means we take the reports from the counties (or nowadays the state election office) and mark off the voter file for everyone whose ballot has been returned.  We don't know who they voted for but we do know turnout by district, county, precinct, party, gender, age, voter history and many other things.  A report goes out daily with detailed breakdowns for campaign managers and targeters.  Those already voting are no longer included in GOTV calling, mailing and door knocking lists.  The savings on that alone pays for an entire voter file operation.

Ballot chase means that GOTV effort focuses ever more precisely on the late voters.  Some vote frequently but habitually wait until the end, others need a lot of nudging.

In most elections both Democrats and Republicans turn out at about the same rate during the early voting/vote by mail period, somewhat ahead of non-partisan and small party voters.  There have been two exceptions.

 

The first was the general election of 2004, where Democrats outvoted Republicans from the beginning of the 18-day voting period to near the end when the Republicans almost but not quite caught up.  In addition, independents (what we call non-affiliated voters or NAVs) leaned toward Kerry so he won by about 3.5% (with a much worse campaign than Gore), whereas Gore won in 2000 by about 0.2% and wasn't declared the winner for a solid week after the election (a fact long lost in the endless Florida story of November and December 2000).  This was fueled by the rise of door to door campaigning in Oregon which overcame the national Kerry campaign's manifold disfunctions (the state Kerry operation was pretty good).

The second was in the May 2008 primary where thanks to a spirited race between Obama and Clinton, and riding an enormous wave of new voters and party switchers, the Democrats took a huge early lead in voting percentage and kept it to the end, with a phenomenal  74% to 56% turnout rate.  Now by then McCain pretty well had it wrapped up and the Republican base was back on its heels, but this has to be considered a "black swan event" in the annals of Oregon voting compared to the normal result where party turnout is at most 2 points different.

Early voters have somewhat different patterns than VBM voters, but as both become more popular a consistent pattern sets in.  Older voters -love- vote by mail, despite the minority who hang on to their Norman Rockwell moment about going down to the good old precinct to vote and hang out with their friends and neighbors.

Let me say it again, older votes --looove-- vote by mail.  Especially when they figure out that about a week after they do, the flood of phone calls and carpet bombing of direct mail starts to abate (at least from campaigns that are halfway on the ball).

In Oregon, the average age for voters whose ballots come in early stays steady at about 60 for the first two weeks, drops into the low 50s by election eve, and goes into the mid-40s on election day. What this means is that early voters are more partisan, older and less in need of both GOTV and persuasion.

Later voters are less partisan, younger, and many are what the 2008 insiders refer to as "low info voters," a slightly pejorative term that only means they are like most Americans.

They may be "low info," but they will win this election.  And they will do it for the candidate who sends people to talk with them in person and treats them like citizens instead of audiences.

So watch those day-by-day partisan turnout numbers in the early vote and VBM states.  If the Democrats get out to anything above a 5% turnout advantage ahead of Nov. 4, you are looking at something that is unlikely to be overcome by late Republican voting (and they do tend to catch up, especially when the church voter drives happen over the last two weekends).  Even when it does tighten up, a partisan advantage gives the party whose voters are turning out at a higher rate the ability to provide more persuasion to soft partisans and independent and swing voters earlier in the final week.  That wins elections.

See you at the Billy Goat Tavern!

 

Joe, the XXX, meme on

BBC

amk

Well, I am enthused about

Well, I am enthused about your coming trip to Florida.  The I-4 corridor--stretching from Jacksonville, to Orlando, to Tampa--is important, but there are other regions whose demographics make them an important part of the whole as well.  As I stated previously, I think there are some important shifts in Miami-Dade.

Yesterday I attended the Obama rally in Orlando.  While I now remember that I don't like crowds, it was heartening to witness the level of general support in the area.  Especially, it was touching to see so many African Americans bringing their children to the event.

Hillary spoke too long--and Obama's stump speech was standard fare, but this event was important. I met so many African American, Latino, and progressive white folks at this event.  Everybody was polite and generous.

On the way home from the event, I was made nervous when I listened to Hugh Hewitt's radio show--he mentioned that McLame is one point over Obama in Florida (according to Rasmussen).  What heartens me is knowing that we are playing a superior ground-game here in Florida.

What is most unusual about the Obama campaign is the general ground-game.  Truely evolutionary.   I get back from the rally, start reading some comments here, and then I am called by the Obama campaign--where I listen to this evening's run-down of the general battle plan from this point onward.  Two young campaign workers spoke for about ten minutes.

If this level of coordination can be brought toward pressing for political/policy change AFTER the election, then this does mark an evolution in how politics is engaged in the USA.

I read last night, also, that Obama will be travelling Thurday and Friday to visit with his ailing grandmother.  My thoughts are with Obama's grandmother, a woman that has been so instramental in supporting Barack throughout his life.  Obama has his priorities straight--and I have a feeling that hm visiting with her at this time will reinvigorate him, giving him impetus and energy in this last crucial stretch of the race.  I sincerely hope that Mrs. Dunham stays strong and is at the inauguration in January of '09.

(Al, I really like the way you responded to Dan in Europe in the last thread.  I have chaffed at a few of your responses in the past--but your comments were appropriate. There is, indeed, class struggle, red-baiting, and political/ideological oppression happening.  It has happened in the past--and it is happening now.   Real people and our potential as humans are harmed when ideas are not allowed to be expressed and debated with vigor.  Not one step back in defending left-progressive values and free discussion.  The appellation 'neo-marxist' is simply part of that tired, old game.   I also noted, for the first time, a comment from your mom.  Like O-man's grandmother, she has reason to be very proud, especially when you refuse to coddle fear-mongering and political oppression with such vigor.)

Early Voting - Nevada

Nevada political guru Jon Ralston noted that the early-voting returns in his state seem to be in Dems’ favor. “Of the 25,000-plus who voted early, 15,644 were Democrats and 5,721 were Republicans, according to Clark County Election Department records. If that trends holds, this won’t be a wave; it’ll be a tsunami. Republicans had a lead on the first day of mail ballot tallying -- 5,407 to 4,947. So overall, it’s 20,591 to 11,128.” 

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/10/20/1570521.aspx

Early Voting - Florida

In the 62 (out of 67) counties that have reported early voting numbers so far, 138,156 ballots were cast on the first day. Of these 77,686 voters were registered DEM (56.2%), 40,564 were REP (29.4%) and 19,906 were OTHER (14.4%). (Registered voter stats in Florida are DEM 42.0%, REP 36.1%, OTHER 21.9%) That's almost a 2 to 1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the first day. In only 9 of the 62 counties did the number of Republicans voting exceed the number of Democrats, and there are some pretty Republican counties in this state. (For example, Collier county in SW Florida, the Republican advantage was only 1576 to 1429.) But election office after election office has called the early voting turnout so far to be unprecedented. The absentee numbers do show a Republican advantage at this moment. There are almost 1.75 million absentee ballot requests to date. So far, just under 500,000 have been cast, with about an 80,000 Republican advantage in absentee ballots returned to date. For all absentee requests so far, the Republican advantage in Florida is 840,000 to 620,000. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/21/731/80652/353/637300

"Gap Between Rich And Poor Growing"

This headline can't hurt the campaign. From CBS News:

In a 20-year study of its member countries, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said wealthy households are not only widening the gap with the poor, but in countries such as the U.S., Canada and Germany they are also leaving middle-income earners further behind...

...The United States has the highest inequality and poverty in the OECD after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said.

And according to the investment newsletter InvesTech (for excellent analysis of historical investment data):

For all intents and purposes the winner of November’s election has already been determined. Forget this week’s final debate and the polls, the market has already cast the deciding vote. Historically, the stock market’s performance in the 2 months leading up to Election Day has determined whether the incumbent party has won or lost the White House with an 89% accuracy (24 out of 27). And with the current pre-election loss at -23.3%, the odds of John McCain winning seem lower than a Herbert Hoover victory in 1932 (when the market loss
was only -16.7%)!

PPP Indiana Poll

Early voting: how big is it?

Has anyone seen a comprehensive comparison (calling Nate Silver?) between early voting in 2004 and early voting in 2008 so that we can see exactly where we are. A quick Google search comes up with plenty of stories from 4 years ago about a confident Kerry campaign banking lots of votes before election. But the numbers they were touting back then appear minute compared to what the Obama campaign is banking now: - from Las Vegas Review Journal, 2004 -- In Clark County, Democrats voted in greater numbers than Republicans on each of the first three days of the 14-day early voting period. Overall, Democrats had a lead of 2,104 voters. Democrats increased turnout on each of the days, edging Republicans 45 to 41 percent Saturday, 45 to 40 percent Sunday and 46 to 40 percent Monday. - From NBC First Read, 2008 in Clark County -- Of the 25,000-plus who voted early, 15,644 were Democrats and 5,721 were Republicans, according to Clark County Election Department records. Republicans had a lead on the first day of mail ballot tallying -- 5,407 to 4,947. So overall, it's 20,591 to 11,128. It'd be informative to be doing this for GA, NC, and all those states that are very good about reporting early voting and absentee (which tend to favor GOP).

Stars and Bars

I've been waiting to see a photo like this. The connection between the rebel spirit of the South and Obama's ascendancy to hopefully displace the powers in Washington is a welcome evolution of historical symbolism.

I don't dismiss at alll anyone's viewpoint that this flag represents slavery and racism. For me, a proud lifelong Alabamian, this flag represents a spirit of independence and a shared cultural identity that does not necessitate racism to feel. There is racism in the South, and there is racism in North, and in England, and in India. Virtually all Southerners who died for that flag in the civil war did not own slaves and were not by definition racists. The nation was divided by a power struggle among the owners of the means of production that fell on the people along the Mason-Dixon fault line of slavery.

148 years later, the owners of the means of production are again struggling to divide the nation, but along the non-geographic fault line of "fear of the other". It won't work this time either - because our side is right, we are a better nation now, we are more integrated than ever, Mr. O himself is integrated, and because of the Southerner in this photo.

Words from Alinsky

 

There have been a lot of references to Saul Alinsky and his _Rules for Radicals,_ so I decided to learn a little more about him and his work.  This quote from a Playboy interview in the early 70's...

"But apart from the specific criticism, this general fear of conflict and emphasis on consensus and accommodation is typical academic drivel. How do you ever arrive at consensus before you have conflict? In fact, of course, conflict is the vital core of an open society; if you were going to express democracy in a musical score, your major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.(Italics mine).  All change means movement, movement means friction and friction means heat."

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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