We are now in the home stretch of a long, closely watched presidential campaign filled with intrigue and more erratic twists and turns from the McCain camp than Palin's swimsuit pageant walk. Americans wanting real change from the Republican Party and Bush era of ballooning national debt, deceptive / inept wars, financial crisis, eroding infrastructure, cronyism, diminished international reputation, attack on civil liberties, etc., cannot slack off just because recent polls track Obama the winner.
The Republican's strategy for bringing Palin on the ticket was not to win over Hillary supporters or independents in any significant way, but to rally the socially conservative Republican base that had all but abandoned McCain. Choosing Palin has been simply part of the Republican's "get out the vote" campaign.
Democrats need to dedicate more party resources to the grass roots "get out the vote" effort now and not get side-tracked by McCain campaign antics. For Obama, that means mobilizing the unreliable youth vote and making sure all the Hillary supporters come out too. Higher voter turnout almost always benefits Democrats. So, take some of those campaign resources directed towards counterbalancing the McCain camp attacks and start mobilizing the base.
Since Obama became the Democratic nominee, he has toned down his inspirational rhetoric and become sensibly more practical and specific about his policies. But that does not mean this movement he has started is any less electrifying and historic. It is time for Americans to become inspired and proud of the country's direction once again.
Here are some of the top reasons Americans for "change we can believe in" cannot rest on their laurels quite yet (brought to you be MoveOn.org):
1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters--or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.
2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.
3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.
4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift--fast!
5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.
What are you doing to mobilize the vote? How can we get every Obama supporter to vote during this early voting season and on November 4th?
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