Monday, September 8, 2008

Before You Go Sideways...

Polling over the weekend, as expected, gave McCain a bounce from the convention in part because of Sarah Palin. Not unexpected. But don't go sideways just yet!

We have four debates to go, one between Palin/Biden (the second of the four) and three between McCain/Obama:

September 26, 2008: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
October 2, 2008: Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
October 7, 2008: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
October 15, 2008: Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

For the undecided folks, these debates will likely seal the deal. For those that have already made a decision, they will likely be unimportant as people will focus on what they like versus what they do not. At least that is the theory. But given so many people are seeming to vote with their gut this time, it may be good prophecy.

This, of course, assumes neither debate candidate makes a huge guffaw or that one does not spit out a line that will change the course of history, or that some unexpected super problem doesn't appear to cloud a candidate.

Polls today, range widely. It is important to remember that cell phone owners are not contacted. What does this have to do with it? Well, consider those you know that ONLY have a cell phone and draw your own conclusions. There are many voters, especially young voters, that do only have a cell. They do not appear to be part of the systematic polling. Remember that polling in the last several elections was off significantly.

It still appears this is going to be a VERY close race. The fight for the uncommitted voters and the fight to get registered voters to get out there and vote is going to be a hot one. Candidates will go where they think they can move either.

Now, what do we need to be doing?

1. We need to register voters.
2. We need to get out, with the Obama folks, and walk precincts, make phone calls, etc. Contact your local Obama office and see how you can help, even if that is only from home. Be prepared to get people to the polls on voting day (so plan ahead... if you have time off, use that time! if you are self employed or retired, set several days before the election ahead to make calls or whatever the campaign needs, and on election day do whatever is needed by your local campaign office or organizers in your community.)
3. Get issue papers out. Use your time wisely. If abortion is the ONLY issue that a voter uses, skip them and move on.
4. In your industry, science, teaching, environment, real estate, animal welfare, service industries or labor unions, get the information out. There are HUGE differences betweeen McCain/Obama on these issues in terms of whether they will help or hurt you with legislation (e.g. unionizing at Wal Mart to effects on scientific research and money for schools). Underline the difference of McCain/Obama on Iraq at that is not only about the service men and women there that need not to be there, but the economics of a war that have thrown the country into fiscal disarray for years.
5. Find what matters to you, and talk about it. It may well be the very thing that matters to someone else, too. You know the economics of your community best and the problems extant otherwise. Address them in light of the candidate.

Don't be discouraged. This is what a tight race is all about!