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Rainy Morning in Battleground of North Carolina

By Krissah Williams Thompson
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A steady rain poured through North Carolina's capital Tuesday morning and the dark clouds gave extra weight to an already tense day.

Sen. Barack Obama supporter Brock Brogan, 48, stood beneath a tree in front of the polling station at the Wood Valley Swim and Racquet Club. His black cap and blue raincoat were sopping wet, but he guarded the Democratic voting guides he had been tasked to hand out in a plastic bag.

"If Obama doesn't win, we'd be absolutely devastated," said Brogan, who planned to stand in the rain all day. Other than Brogan's canvassing, the polls was quiet as were most in the area, according to local news reports.

There were no lines. The people who stepped in and out of the voting booths in the clubhouse lobby were among the last of the voters in this state to cast ballots. Turnout in North Carolina has already been staggering. Before polls opened this morning at 6:30 a.m. there had already been more than 2.5 million early votes cast, 75 percent of the entire number of votes in 2004.

One stay-at-home mom who had skipped early voting because the lines were too long jetted in and out of the clubhouse without opening the copy of the novel "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" that she'd brought in case of a wait. She voted for Obama. Her husband picked McCain.

Their neighborhood is similarly divided. Wood Valley is a middle-class community full of tall trees and big suburban homes, where the lawns are equally dotted with McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden signs. It is a microcosm for the changing state where affluent, well-educated whites have been drawn to the nearby Research Triangle Park and have helped to bring North Carolina to a tipping point.

For the first time in 37-year-old Alison Keever's life her home state is a battleground.

"We've always voted but we felt like it didn't make a difference because it was decided before we went to the polls," said the longtime Democrat who grew up near Greensboro. "Now we see how much the state has changed with people coming from all over. It's exciting."

It's also been annoying, said Mike Bennett, 47. He's a moderate who has been in the crosshairs of both campaigns. His mailbox has been flooded with campaign literature and his answering machine often full of messages from both camps.

"I'm so sick of it," Bennett said. "For the past two weeks it has been five to 10 calls everyday....I looked at them both and we're in some perilous times on the foreign policy front."

Bennett liked McCain's foreign policy experience and voted for him.

"I'm not sure he's ready for the job," said Bennett of Obama. "If McCain is elected I don't think it will just be the status quo. He is more liberal than some Republicans."

Robert Grant, 51, also went back and forth. He is a traditionally Republican voter, but liked what Obama has had to say and was concerned about McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Grant, who works in electronic sales, sat on the fence until a McCain advertisement finally swayed him last week.

"I don't like the negativity but what the ad said makes sense," he said. "Obama's never been in charge of anything. In the event of a crisis, McCain is much more experienced than Obama."

Brogan, the cold, wet Obama canvasser, said he was picking up more support for McCain than Obama from his perch and it worries him. His wife had already bought a bottle of champagne -- either to celebrate or drown in their misery.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 4, 2008; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds , The Voters  
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Next: Other Familiar Faces at Obama's Polling Place

Comments

Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld gang has severely reduced the prestige, power and standing of America in the world using dictatorial behavior, isolation theory and above all inhumane and war mongering conduct. At the end of 8 years rule this goons have lost their own image, bankrupted not only America but their associates around the Globe and their own majority of Republicans, who have supported them.
On the other hand, Obama has raised his image as the Messiah to save this Nation from further debacle. Martin Luther King was the real civil liberty hero but he still was not Obama. He had many trust worthy friends and followers around him still he was lacking political genius like Obama. Obama has played his race, played his youth, played his wisdom and above all played the TIME to suit his goal. Year ago, it was looking impossible to millions but he achieved his goals beyond his limits. He has converted America in to a peace loving, gentle, compassionate and humane society. At this time, he has broken all the boundaries of red America and blue America and time will tell whether he will be able to change the world making rich and poor Nations as each other's saviors spreading his message of brotherhood and humanity.
Let hope that Obama live longer and Americans and the world listen him like a Messiah to fulfill his God given task.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | November 4, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Was some early election results leaked accidently by diebold?
http://www.theobamaplan.com

Did Huckabee vote for Obama?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YADwYU-phpI

Posted by: pastor123 | November 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

One Last Audacious Hope- Poll Inaccuracy

Pollsters ponder racial bias among U.S. voters - and in their own polls
By Kate Zernike Published: October 12, 2008
International Herald Tribune

Three weeks to Election Day, and polls project a victory, possibly a big one, for Barack Obama.

Yet everywhere, anxious Democrats wring their hands. They have seen this Lucy-and-the-football routine before, and they are just waiting for their ball to be snatched away, the foiled Charlie Browns again. Remember how the exit polls in 2004 predicted President John Kerry?

The anxiety is more acute this year, because Obama is the first African-American major-party presidential nominee. And even pollsters say they cannot be sure how accurately polls capture people's feelings about race, or how forthcoming Americans are in talking about a black candidate.

In recent days, nervous Obama supporters have traded worry about a survey - widely disputed by pollsters yet voraciously consumed by the politically obsessed - that concluded racial bias would cost Obama six percentage points in the final outcome. He is, of course, about six points ahead in current polls. See? He's going to lose.

If he does, it would not be the first time that polls have overstated support for an African-American candidate. Since 1982, people have talked about the Bradley effect, where even last-minute polls predict a wide margin of victory, yet the black candidate goes on to lose, or win in a squeaker. (In the case that lent the phenomenon its name, Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, lost his race for governor, the assumption being that voters lied to pollsters about their support for an African-American.)

Kohut conducted a study in 1997 looking at differences between people who readily agreed to be polled and those who agreed only after one or more call-backs. Reluctant participants were significantly more likely to have negative attitudes toward blacks - 15 percent said they had a "very favorable" attitude toward them, as opposed to 24 percent of the ready respondents. "The kinds of people suspicious of surveys are also more intolerant," Kohut said.

Posted by: thecannula | November 4, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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