October 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm
Hi - read this site consistently, but have never commented before. I did want to leave this personal observation/story. I live in Seattle, WA - one of the most liberal areas of the country outside of SF and Manhattan. I am a lifelong, registered democrat. I voted for Clinton in the WA caucuses and primaries. In my neighborhood and on the way to work, I see many houses/cars with Obama/Biden signs, and few McCain/Palin. But, I think one of the secret and big stories here is that McCain will do much better than expected in WA state and may even win it.
I just voted (we can vote early by mail here) and I voted, proudly, for McCain/Palin. I’ve never voted for a Republican for any office, ever, before. I am a pretty strong-willed person, but I have to tell you that I CANNOT admit in public here in Seattle that not only do I not support Obama, but that I voted for McCain. At work and among (certain) friends, it is EXPECTED that I not only voted for Obama, but enthusiastically worship him as much as they do. However, I’ve encountered a few people who will dance around the topic to feel me out and then whisper, as if we’ll be sent away to gulag if anyone finds out - that they support McCain. That is the atmosphere in which all this polling is occuring. I would never tell a pollster who I really support. In fact, I would not submit to a poll - they have my phone number after all - and can find out where I live. (I know that sounds paranoid, but I think that’s the reality we face)
People here who do supprt McCain can’t say it in public; they are afraid to put signs or bumperstickers out. They are afraid to admit it at work because they might lose their job or be harrassed. But, oh boy - are they planning to vote!! And, the rest of WA state is pretty conservative - so I do not believe that Obama has a lock on this state at all.
Just one other little item - I am an AOL user and I vote in their straw polls every week. I actually think it’s pretty interesting. They get upwards of 100,000 real people voting every week and they restrict the voting, so you can only vote once per week per AOL account - very little chance for voters to game the system. When they’ve done these polls in the past - the results have usually been skewed v. liberal and anti-republican - for example: Clinton, the best president ever (I agree) - Bush the worst president ever (I also agree), by large amounts.
This poll has ever increasingly given McCain the win by HUGE amounts. McCain wins every state except NY, IL and Hawaii by this week’s poll. I know this isn’t “scientific,” but frankly - I trust this poll more than any NBC news poll. It shows people who will take the time and be proactive about voting - they are likely to vote for real. And, it allows people to truly give their opinion anonymously - not to some pollster with skewed questions on the phone.
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