Huffpost Homepage
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jim Rubens Headshot

The Obama Movement, NH Primary Day Morning

Posted: Updated:

In my 30 plus years as a New Hampshire voter, I have never seen an election day mobilization as intense as the Obama's. I spoke with several volunteers who had been awake all night planting road signs, with college students who had forfeited job income from an entire summer to do phoning and door-to-door canvassing, with people from other states who have been here for days, sleeping on couches. The numbers spilled beyond those who were formally organized by the campaign.

This very morning, Obama himself is in town - in Hanover - holding a rally for Dartmouth students only, who in New Hampshire can same-day register and vote. This smart move will pick him up an incremental 500 to 1,000 votes, worth maybe one-third of a percentage point in the outcome this evening. Where in past years, Republican activists had challengers sitting behind each checklist volunteer, attempting to turn students away who did not meet New Hampshire's residency requirement. Today, Obama volunteers sit behind each, ready to protect each of these new voters.

I spoke with a middle-aged poll stander. The movement is not just youth. She knows fully-well that Obama's candidacy lacks detail, is primarily a feeling, but she supports him anyway, utterly confident that the movement he is building will result in the right people and the right policies emerging from his administration. From this tiny vantage point this morning, I predict that it is over for Hillary.

While the McCain surge is bringing excitement to the GOP race, it is by no stretch comparable to that of Obama's. I worry for Republicans this November. If we don't tap into something as deep as this, we lose. Tax cuts, as much as I'd like them, won't come close. Perhaps we will be saved by the harder reality of events which will take the punch bowl away from Americans desperate for hope and togetherness.