Yes, Virginia, There Is a "Voter Registration Bounce"

By Al Giordano

Longtime readers of The Field know that I put more stock in SurveyUSA (SUSA) polls than those of Rasmussen, Gallup, Zogby and other leading pollsters because the organization discloses demographic cross-tabs which make it possible for us to examine the methodology with more transparency, and, not insignificantly, throughout the 2008 primaries they've simply been more accurate more times than the others.

That's not to say they can't be wrong, but they're more often right than wrong.

SUSA's new Virginia poll, out today, may be picking up what I'll call "the voter registration bounce," or, in shorthand, a "field bounce":

Obama: 50 percent

McCain: 46 percent

Other: 2 percent

Undecided: 2 percent

The pollsters explain:

One week ago, McCain led among men by 11 points. Today, McCain and Obama tie. One week ago, McCain led among voters age 50+ by 14 points. Today, McCain leads by 1. One week ago, Obama led among lower income voters by 6 points. Today, Obama leads by 20. One week ago, McCain led among Independents by 21 points. Today, McCain leads by 4. 17% of Republicans today crossover to vote Democrat, up from 11% last week and 7% last month. 12% of Democrats cross over to vote Republican, compared with 10% in the two previous polls. Strikingly: week-on-week movement in the DC suburbs was to McCain; movement in the Shenandoah and Central VA was to Obama.

Most interesting, is that the SUSA poll is still undercounting the African-American vote in Virginia. It places it at 19 percent of the total electorate, when in 2004 it was 21 percent of Virginia's turnout, and that, for John Kerry. As I've mentioned before, it should be even higher this year for Obama.

The other interesting point is how the poll shows Obama picking up traction among lower-income white voters, particularly in the Appalachian "Shenandoah" region of the state, which highly suggests that as election day grows closer, economic concerns trump racial fears among many who, before, were hesitant to declare a preference for him.

This makes me want to go to Virginia even more as part of our upcoming reporting tour. I've heard that early voting begins September 19. If you're on the ground in Virginia, can you tell us more about that, and advise us on where, in the Old Dominion, we should go to report on early voting and new voter registration later this month?

Comments

I'm on the ground in Williamsburg, VA.

Hey Al,

I'm an Obama Fellow at the campaign office in Williamsburg, VA.  As you've noted in this post, voter registration has been a pretty big focus around here lately.  I've done a lot of canvassing in both high-income and low-income areas in Williamsburg, and my experience has been fairly positive so far.  In the past week or so, my focus has been switching toward voter registration on the campus of William and Mary, since I'm a student there, and we're making a lot of progress there, too.

Virginia's obviously a swing state.  We're not taking it for granted, but I think we can definitely win here--thanks to our ground organization.  Last time I checked, we're up to 36 offices.  The McCain campaign knows they're in trouble.  They just opened up an office in Williamsburg that's about five minutes away from us.

Williamsburg is a battleground.  You should definitely stop by. :)

-Marc

Yea for Registrations!

Thanks to all those who are working so hard in Virginia on registrations. 

I'm in the financial business so I'm knee deep in the Bush "sound fundamentals" doo doo this morning.  I haven't read anything but Al's story on Virginia so am liking that it appears to still be underpolling AA vote.  I want McCain to get TROUNCED in this state.

Please send an email

Mark - Please send me an email at narconews@gmail.com so I know how to contact you.

(And that goes for anybody else on the ground in Virginia.)

Polls 101?

I'm confused.  I thought people were saying that all these new people who are being registered lately aren't being polled because the polling companies can't keep up with the information.  Now suddenly there is a 'registration bounce'?  Is that the only reason why those numbers changed so dramatically in the past week?

Plus I'm still hoping you'll take the time to explain what you mean when you mention building a firewall around a state.

Can this be the beginning of the recoil?

Agreed that voter registration is critical to win the election.  And I also wonder if the Liar/Liar: Pants on Fire ticket is beginning to reap the whirlwind of its Rovian tactics?

And thanks for the 1776 clip, Al.  I've blogged at Fieldhands about my family connection to this wonderful musical.

Yes! Excellent!

This is great news.  I've been saying all along I'm really convinced VA will turn blue - see my comment on your original thread:

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/where-should-the-field-go-report-voter-registration-deadline#comment-12524 

I'm not living in VA now, but for the primary I was volunteering in NoVA - the big grassroots groups there (with official campaign connections) are arlingtonforobama and Alexandria4Obama so maybe you could contact them.  But the real story may be as you say in Applachian VA - but also in military VA (big presence in NoVA but also in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, etc.).  It's conventional wisdom that the military areas will vote Republican but from what we've seen from the military abroad I'm not sure I buy the conventional wisdom this time round.

KD

Exit polls for AA turnout might have been wrong

Tom Jensen, the pollster for PPP, addressed that issue for North Carolina, whose 2004 exit polls had AA turnout higher than their population. He said that for NC the demographic exit polls were simply wrong. I could have sworn I read a similar point made about Virginia and I am trying to find that article right now, but I just wanted to throw that point out there.

I think your post touting Obama's voter registration efforts as the cause of this bounce might be a bit premature or even misguided. I'm not even sure if I trust general election SUSA polls. They have Obama performing better in Virginia than in Minnesota. While I believe he will win both states in November, I don't think he will perform better in Virginia. Rasmussen is releasing a Virginia poll tonight and PPP is releasing one sometime this week, so we'll see if those numbers are real.

Yes, yes!

Go to Virgina Al.

I vote that you should go to Virgina's 5th district which is both a swing district for the presidential race and it features a close race between Republican Congressmen and nationally famous bigot Virgil Goode and Tom Perriello, a great Democrat. I've got a few contacts within the campaign and could probably get you set up for a interveiw with staff and maybe the candidate too if you'd be interested e-mail me at kesinger (AT) comcast (DOT) net

So goes Virginia, so goes the nation

Please report any and all activities in Va. So many folks in Maryland are chomping at the bit to get involved.

Polls 201

Tien Le - Fair question. You're half right, half off in your impressions. Pollsters by and large aren't using voter lists. They're doing "random dialing" and screening the responses based on the answers to various questions about their intent to vote. Random dialing has a harder time reaching transients (young people, mobile professionals, recently moved to a new home/apt.) as well as adult children that live with a parent (because many are typically not around the house much). There is also a debate among pollsters about whether cell-phone users without land lines, because they skew young, and the Obama campaign is signing them up this year.

But if random dialing is picking up shifts, now, in the Shenandoah region and among middle-aged males, and also shifts among lower income voters, it would suggest that the Obama field organization has reached beyond the "easy" new registrants (students, young African-Americans and Hispanics) to, through its 36 Virginia field offices, getting people with land lines fired up, caring about the outcome (and correspondingly registered).

Virginia is a demographically changing state, more so than many swing states.

Finally, SUSA may have improved its methodology to reach some of these transient and new voters that it wasn't reaching before. I would expect that the better pollsters would be doing this, as Obama's field organization and voter registration drive (300,000+ new voters in Virginia alone this year) have created a more difficult landscape for them to measure.

Also, by "firewall," I'm talking about 2004 "blue" states that voted for Kerry but where the race may be too close for Obama to relax: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Oregon and now, it seems, Minnesota. The word "Firewall" is an internet term for security systems that are meant to keep hackers out of your computer. It comes from an older military term of protecting fortresses from attack with flaming arrows and boiling oil.

confidence

It is the things like this, plus the narrowing in other polls that gives me confidence about November.

And remember, confidence does not equal complacency.  I will be working in both WI and IN before the election and for phone bankers and canvassers and voter registration people, it is important to remember that we have to exude confidence about our candidate and the results.  Not cockiness and not complacency.

Anyone who is in sales and who is really a professional at it knows that if you don't display confidence in what you are selling, in words, voice or body language you probably won't make the sale.  And we are selling the most important product at the most important time in our nation.

One of the biggest mistakes the McCain/Palin ticket is making right now is they are only tearing down the opposing product, not displaying any confidence in their own.  It is important we dispay the weaknesses in the competition, but we also have to show the strengths of ours and Obama is leading the way in that.

Early Voting

Thanks Al, for the good news from Survey USA.  I hope they are showing the start of a trend.

As far as early voting goes, it looks to me like it's only allowed for absentee voting.  I did some googling and came up with a Kos diary from yesterday and it's link to the VA Election Board:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/14/17274/3049/247/598768

http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Absentee_Voting/Index.html

Please don't let this dissuade you from coming to tobacco friendly Virginia.  In fact, I may have some boarding options for you if needed.

 

West VA?

How does this trend play out in West VA?  Is there much of an Obama/GOTV presence there?

Virginia

Dugg this! This was just the news I needed today. Gallup still isn't moving much and the narrative this morning about "both campaigns using smear tactics" was making me crazy. I started getting that sinking feeling in my stomach, the first sign of the CL syndrome.

Thanks for the good news, Al! I hope it's the first of many stories of bounces.

Calling on all MD and DC

Calling on all MD and DC dems to come and help us in VA!  The Falls Church office is up and running, and we can use all the help you can offer.  Al, we can offer you lodging in VA (McLean)!  Voter registration is still first priority; metro stops, grocery stores on the week-end, Wolftrap (largest outdoor Nat. Park for the perforning arts) events - we can use hands everywhere! 

Follow-up question

Al,

Just to clarify: for the polls that cite "Registered Voters"  most pollsters are not using voting rolls but merely calling anybody and asking if they are registered as part of their series of polling questions?  It seems like it would be more efficient to just start out with a list of just registered voters. (?) 

As an aside on the stupidity of national polls.  There is no way I believe the national polls showing John S. McCain ahead by any margin.  Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by at least 5% and are more enthusiastic.  So we are supposed to believe that more than 5% of registered Democrats are going to vote for the other guy!?!  Not happening.

 

Watch the Outer DC Suburbs

I'm on the ground in NoVA (Arlington) and my impression is that Obama has a real opportunity to get a big boost out of areas in the DC exurbs that are traditionally more split party-wise - particularly Prince William and Loudon counties.  Demographics are changing as more people move farther out from the city and the housing slump is really hitting those areas hard.  Also, Republicans in those areas tend to be more conservative on fiscal and security issues than socially conservative, so the Palin pick isn't doing much for them.

If anyone in DC or  Maryland is looking to get involved in VA, registration drives are going to be going strong for another three weeks or so.  We need all the help we can get.

"Registered Voters"

Catherine - Polls that differentiate between "registered voters" and "likely voters" aren't working over voter lists, but, rather, what random-dialing respondents say about themselves.

It's more labor intensive (and thus more expensive) for a pollster to work exclusively off voter registration lists, although I believe that some pollsters have done that on specific occasions, but I need to do more research on that, if it exists in this cycle.

better to believe polls than doubt them

just a reminder, that in 2004 the lefty blogosphere convinced itself that the polls were wrong, that pollsters were not counting the cell phones, the young people, the expected turnout due to Iraq, etc, etc. Well we were proved spectacularly wrong. The polls were right on.

It is a huge mistake to convince yourself that the polls are wrong and that we have 1-5 points that aren't being counted due to dem enthusiasm, voter registration, Obama's field work, expected high turn out of young people, black people or cell phone users who never get polled, etc., etc.,  If that all turns out to be true-great-celebrate the landslide on Novemebr 5th.  But until then its better to believe the polls than to doubt them. Assume McCain is winning--just like intrade does. Assume Obama is losing and must make up the 2+ points he down and go ahead to win. etc etc. Assume the polls are right and do whatever it takes to win this thing.

Thanks Al for the clarification

One more HUGE favor. :) I know some of the inside staff reads your posts so can you please have them get Obama and Biden to Minnesota sooner rather than later? I would HATE for my former state of Minnesota to go Republican for the first time since Nixon in "72. I hear McCain and Palin are going BACK THERE this week!

I'm headed for the hills

I'm going to be driving over and spending a week at one of the Appalachia offices.  The organizer there is very excited about the upcomming weeks, and I'm just about to jump out of my seat with excitement to head over there.

African American vote and Virginia

Al, in the comments section of the last Virginia poll you commented on, I mentioned that there was a possibility that Virginia's exit poll might have overstated African American turnout by a few percentage points (according to the 2000 census, African Americans make up about 19.6% of the overall population and make up about 18.5% of the population that was 18+) I'm a bit critical of SUSA in the South, where they have consistantly under-stated African American support, but it does seem more likely that the 2004 exit poll overstated African American turnout (which would've also likely understated Kerry's white vote by a small margin). What do you think of this, Al?

Norfolk

While I'm in NOVA and strongly believe its diversity and population explosion will be the tipping point, I'm fascinated to know what is happening in Norfolk. 

Norfolk area hosts both a large African American population as well as a large military population.  And where was Obama last week???

@Carthage, do NOT let Al stay in McLean.  Chances are, he'll stumble into Pat Buchanan and all hell will break loose.

Where To Go

Excellent post, Al.

From where I sit (Oklahoma, fwiw), the three most interesting states are shaping up to be Virginia, Colorado, and Florida....though Ohio, Nevada, and NM have their attractions, too.

Also: why isn't New Hampshire one of your firewall states?

2004 Polls

Elliot - I've read the comments here suggesting that the 2004 exit polls overstated the African-American vote in Virginia, based on the suggestion that it wouldn't have likely exceeded overall percent of population. I'm not sure that's a reasonable yardstick, since we know that in Democratic primaries, for example, especially this year, the turnout far exceeded previous years.

Also, Virginia had the first AA governor (Wilder) and in places like Richmond the organizing goes back many years (similar to Chicago, in that sense). It's quite possible that the AA vote in Virginia is years ahead of other places in being organized and mobilized.

Other than the "percent of overall population" metric, is there any hard evidence suggesting that the 2004 exit poll was wrong?

 

Brainwashed?

Thanks, Al. It is disheartening to go to 538 and see McCain the predicted winner.

I've been thinking about a tangent to this topic, about brainwashing in its various aspects. Frightenened people with either bad or very bad information seem to be the main obstacle we're up against.  Some McCain leaners are reachable, but some have been taught to hate and fear liberals in specific alternative history ways- like we'll control their lives, end white dominance, tax away their freedom, use science against them, coddle terrorists and criminals, belittle Christ, make them feel stupid, destroy businesses, I don't know. They also believe in Bad Obama and Good Sarah for specific laundry lists of reasons. I'm wondering if it does any good to respond when they post online, since they don't seem to process information that isn't from the right wing. I'm wondering if there are workable real-life one-on-one approaches.

There's also the megaphone problem, in that most of the really powerful megaphones (tv and radio) are owned by corporations who are careful to parse them out to journalists and pundits who will give just enough semblance of democracy, give different groups just enough voice, to keep the outrage under control. On the web, of course, its comforting to just frequent sites that make us feel right and smart, not the opponent's aggravating views.

We need not just the fairness doctrine but some sort of non-political oversight of media, to see that the megaphone ownership is democratic. That's as far as I've gotten thinking on this (off-topic) topic, but I would love to know what the Field people think about it, especially in the near term of this election.

 

Movement towards Obama in

Movement towards Obama in the Shenandoah and Central VA(ah, yes-- a beautiful irony for "Lynchburg" VA!) is the best part of that whole breakdown-- not to overstate it but if that's accurate that's huge, y'all. Bigger, in its way, than any overall number.

MI and OH still

Al,

Not sure if you've made up your mind yet, but I'd still vote for you going to MI and OH.  While some good signs in VA, Obama already has Kaine and Mark Warner stumping for him which will make Obama strong there, and MI is much more crucial to win.  Plus, it would be really great to get your perspective in OH, where your background would help us understand all the dodgy tricks that are already being done there to game the vote.

538's Map

Ann - I'm a little bit perplexed by 538's map (and wonder if even a downplayed weighting of Zogby outlier polls is throwing it off). If you add up the Electoral College votes based on the colors on 538's map, it comes up McCain 274, Obama 264, with Obama losing Colorado. And yet underneath the map it says "McCain 289.1, Obama 248.9," a measurement that isn't supported by its own map.

I'm sure there's a reason for that, but I don't know what it is.

Meanwhile, some of the "Chicken Littles turned PUMAs" are out there taking joy in the suggestion that McCain is winning, some citing that 538 projection. They're obviously not what they claim to be (or are psychologically troubled, much like the PUMAs; they feel wounded for being called out on their BS, feel scorned and want to be able to say "I told you so" more than they ever wanted the Democrat to win).

When I look at the 538 map, I look at the colors on the states, not the number underneath them. With the exception of flipping Colorado and New Mexico, the map is identical to my own. My methodology has Obama ahead in Colorado but behind in New Mexico, with a McCain 270-Obama 268 EV projection if the election were held today. I don't sweat a two state difference with so many states being so incredibly close. And I see no reason to panic from any of it.

New spelling alert: Palen.

Too cool!  Just found out about the tanning bed scoop here.

This could very well be the Edwards $400 dollar haircut, Dean Scream, Kerry windsurfing story of this election.  Low-info voters really attract to these kinds of stories.  Yes, she's the VP candidate, but she's drawing much bigger crowds than McInsane and is credited with their rise in the polls, so if we dismantle the completely fabricated Palen mystique, it will take away that advantage and also reflect poorly in McInsane.  A two-fer if you will.

As Donald Rumsfeld would say, "We go to campaign with the rules we have, not the rules we wish we had."  Sure, we wish campaigning and the electorate wasn't so superficial, but that's where voters are at the moment.  Of course Obama won't touch this, but it's our jobs to make this really catch on.

Just state simple fact.  Guv. Palen had a tanning booth installed at the Gov mansion at taxpayer expense (yes, only wiring confirmed...doesn't matter...statement is still true.)  Is this really the fiscal conservative reformer she claims to be?

I'm personally curious if she was using it during the period she claims she was pregnant as well.  Either way, this whole episode shows a serious lack of good judgment.

Bravo Al and Bill!

Ann at 2:32

Hi Ann,

instead of Poblano, go to:

http://election.princeton.edu/history-of-electoral-votes-for-obama/

It is run by Sam Wong, a neurobiologist from Princeton, and predicts based on the latest state polls. He is looking at possibilities to get a particular electoral outcome. While you do not get info about individual states this way, it is much easier to calculate, it is updated automatically, and he would have been dead on 2004, if he would not have fudged his data with a manual correction.

 

And the best thing: Obama still wins over there:-)

BTW: Shenandoah/Appalachia

BTW: Shenandoah/Appalachia not the same thing. Sixth District is Shenandoah/Roanoke, Ninth is Appalachia. Different history, different demographics. Rural Virginia, also incorporating Fifth and parts of Fourth, might be more accurate.

Swingers

In those key states and among the independents the miltary factor carries a lot of weight, and I think (from the military people I know) that there's alot more support for Obama there than people realize.  There's a new site up that promotes Blue Star military families supporting Obama.  If you want to check it out or promote it, here it is - anything to push those undecideds our way:

http://www.bsf4o.com/

Response to Al

Al, First of all, thanks for the response, those are definitely good points you've brought up, and I'd like to mention that I'm not necessarily discounting that SUSA is understating African American turnout, but my own evidence comes from the fact that exit polls in two other states have almost certainly overestimated African American turnout: the Communication's Director of PPP (based in North Carolina and a polling firm which has beaten out SUSA in polling southern states) has shown that in neighboring North Carolina (as well as South Carolina) both overestimated African American turnout.

I do have some other reasons to believe that Virginia's turnout might have been off, but I don't have the copy of the book it's in on me (I own it, but I didn't take it with me), but I do have the info, so I'll email you what was written a bit later (I won't write what he said here, just because I don't remember exactly what was written and I'd like to be exact).

Colorado apartment voters

I was sent out yesterday by our Colorado Boulder County Dems office to canvass and hand out voter registration forms and envelopes and voter deadline info at a big apartment complex in the north part of Longmont. This is in an area a good 20 miles or more away from the university, so is not all students, also includes many young families just trying to get by, I believe.

Our experienced dems at the office took a long look at the spotty list of Democrats in apartments, many of whom are likely to have moved anyway, and made the decision to just go for it and go to every darn apartment there. I visited 59 apartments before running out of materials only a quarter of the way through my part of this vast complex, and found about 8 families home, and left forms, envelopes and info at the rest.

I was astounded- of those few families I talked to, all but 2 of them needed and wanted to register, and most expressed a fervent interest in voting for Obama. I believe the decision to go to all apartments was a great one, in the case of our county anyway.

I took careful notes to indicate apartments I couldn't get to, so the next person can pick up where I left off, and ran back to the Dems office with the exciting news of high interest levels.

Colorado has early voting too, from October 20th to 31st. Our deadline for registration is October 6th.

a note on 538 -- lag

I could be wrong, but I think that the 538 model has a "decay" built in older polls, so the polls from last week which caught the McCain bounce are still showing some influence in the numbers, similar as to how Obama still had that 70% chance of winning a few days into the Republican Convention. I'd look for it to even out over the course of the week as the weight of those polls decays.

 

Polls and "Maps"

There's one constant in life - Change.

The polls will be in a constant state of flux for the next two months.  Why be "discouraged" by polls now when we're just getting warmed up.  Fired up!

Bill J, you are right about

Bill J, you are right about Buchanan, and don't forget Liz Perry (nee Cheney), Kristol and quite a few others - I know Al can take them all on!  I'm the dem. ass. chief in a 3 to 1 GOP district, and we've been doing better and better every election.  (Obama did extremely well in the primaries, with a never-before seen turnout for a primary)  No. Va, Charlottesville, Richmond and the Hamptons will have to make up for the rest of the state; we're very pleased with any gains in the deeper red areas.  Ann @3:22, same here with apartment complexes: very efficient, and more unregistered voters than elsewhere. 

Those Darn Teenagers!

We live in the State of WA where Obama was expected to take handily, though the poles now say "lean lead."  I have an 18 year-old son who did not plan to vote.  I told him if he did not register and vote, he would have to pay for his own gas.  I also told him that, with McSame in office, he could expect 7-8 dollar per gallon gas in the next four years.  With that, he agreed to register and vote for Obama.

He always liked Obama but just did not want to be bothered with registering.  I bet many of us have teenagers who just need a little nudge.

In Appalachia, this is the endorsement that matters

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2008/09/post_89.html?nav=rss_blog

Ralph Stanley should be a star in ads running in Ohio, WV, Virginia, etc.  Never underestimate the pull of a cultural legend...

Explanation of 538 EV counts

Al, the EV counts and pie chart on 538.com are probably the least useful part of its model, IMO, mainly because the way they are calculated is confusing. I can offer an explanation for how they are calculated and why the map doesn't appear to support them, but I can't give you an interpretation of the numbers that makes them actually useful, I'm afraid.

As you know, I'm sure, 538's model runs 10,000 simulations of the election with different random parameters, to get an estimate of the probabilities of different outcomes. The EV pie chart is calculated by simply taking the number of EVs that each candidate gets in every one of those 10,000 simulations, and averaging them. That's how you can get fractional EV numbers and why simply adding up the winners of each state doesn't give the same number. What use that averaged EV count is, I'm not sure.

I always look to the Win Percentage pie chart, and the color of the states on the map (which ones are closest to white). I tend to feel that out of all the information that 538 provides, those two things give the best summary of the current state of play.

Indian Reservations

We've been focusing an effort on registering new voters on the Cherokee Indian Reservation here in Western North Carolina. There is a long tradition of non-participation in anything but tribal elections (the tribe is considered a 'soverign nation', but they can vote in state and federal elections.

The Chief (a Republican, no less) has really been pushing for increased participation in non-tribal elections (due to a new casino, the standard of living has increased dramatically, and they are starting to attract the attention of the outside world).

Anyway, this has been very fertile ground, much like the apartment complex mentioned above.....and it's flying completely below everyone's radar.

I've made this point before, but it's worth mentioning again - in 2004, 88.5% of the registered voters in the US cast a ballot in the Presidential Election. Once registered, people tend to vote. The best GOTV is to get 'your' folks signed up to vote  in the first place. Dem+Ind registrations are outnumbering Rep 14:1 since the primaries in NC.

that's how quick

You are linked on Ben Smith's page at Politico now...tanning beds for everyone!!!

Tanning Bed Spreads

Just saw it at Huff Po with photo in a top headlines banner.  Let's make sure enough people know about this that Tucker Bounds will wet his bed.

Orgiastic politics

F. William Engdahl's latest article is Christian Fundamentalism Permeates the Republican Party: Sarah Palin’s links to the Christian Right in which he describes the group, Committee on National Policy, that nominated her to McCain in the final week before the Republican convention.

The former Reverend Ted Haggard, of sex and drug scandal fame, was a member.

If McCain becomes incapacitated or dies, this is the group that will be telling Palin what to do.

[I always need to go out for a beer after reading stuff like this, which is where I'm headed now. Who raised these people?]

Interesting

Very interesting - best news out of VA in a while.  Let's hope it's accurate.

Hi Al, great post. We in the

Hi Al, great post. We in the (new) Old Dominion appreciate it!

Anyway, there is not early voting per se in Virginia (I wish there was, and we'd kill 'em in the field!), but there is absentee voting for any citizen that reasonably believes that he/she may be out of their voting precinct for 11 of the 13 hours of the voting day on Nov. 4. The language is loose, and is up to the best discretion of the voter. There are also absentee exclusions for those that are disabled or have difficulty going to the polls, for expatriates and military members, and I believe a few other sundry categories.

I'm working in the Alexandria area with the local Obama campaign AND the Virginia Coordinated Campaign (essentially Mark Warner's operation). We'll be working hard every day until November 4. Virginia would love to have you if you so decide!

- Ron

This is a great poll, and I

This is a great poll, and I am tickled and plan to redouble my assistance to the Obama campaign in Virginia as well.  Obama has had people out door to door since June, and I think this is what you are seeing pay off. 

But about so-called early voting:  It's NOT true early voting.  It's in-person absentee voting.  You have to file an application and state the reason why you can't vote on E-Day.  No big deal, but if you call up and ask about early voting they might tell you there is no such thing.  So be warned. 

MD and DC'ers

Anyone in MD or DC who's been thinking about helping out, wait no longer! In addition to the voter reg activities mentioned above, there's canvassing going on every weekend. Here are all the Fairfax offices, and here's the easily Metro-accessible Arlington office. To keep abreast of voter reg opportunities, sign up on my.barackobama.com and join the FairfaxVAforObama or Alexandria4Obama group.

Also, if there's one thing I've learned about campaigning over the past several years, do contact them but don't wait for an invitation, just go when you have some time.

And if all else fails, email me at razorsharpwit AT gmail and I'll put you to work in my precinct!

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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