First, the good news. Obama is one of the most gifted politicians of our lifetimes. A supremely effective manager, an inspirational speaker, and a transformative leader. An Obama victory on Tuesday will increase consumer confidence, spur the beginnings of an economic turnaround, inspire a generation of Americans, say more than has ever been said about how America has evolved when it comes to race, and dramatically change the planet's impression of our country if not of democracy itself. Having a mature, thoughtful, and principled leader as leader of the free world could well make all the difference for our future during this time of multiple international crises.
And yes. Obama may very well win handily, bringing a strong Democratic majority along with him. Most indicators suggest this to be probable.
There are far too many variables for anyone to make an accurate prediction. Sure, Wednesday morning, someone will luck out and have won the political pool. Good for them. (My entry? 138 million voters. Obama by 6 percent, 350 electoral votes, 58 Democratic Senators, and 34 gained seats in the House). But given the number of newly registered voters on both sides, the massive undercurrents flowing in every direction, the volatile economy, unprecedented get out the vote machines on both side, and the extensive, hidden election day tactics planned by both camps - anyone making a prediction right now is guessing. Plain and simple.
Meanwhile, McCain has been gaining about a point a day in several daily tracking polls. And even tracking polls lag behind the public's actual feelings. We are already back within many polls' margins of error. During the primaries, Obama frequently performed slightly worse than he polled. Palin's supporters (let's be blunt. McCain does not have many supporters. He has to follow around his VP candidate to get a crowd) are angry, motivated, disciplined, and stoked up. They show up at the polls. The youth vote Obama rightfully expected to show up in early voting has not yet fully materialized. Obama's fundraising and spending advantage is showing some signs of backfiring. McCain has saved what little money he has - bravely and intelligently - for a final push, and he is expected to outspend Obama in the final days in some key states. Republicans have proven much more effective than Democrats at discouraging, discounting, or outright eliminating the other side's votes.
I worked for Gore/Lieberman in 2000. I worked for Kerry/Edwards in 2004. It is my view that both elections were stolen. It is a fool's game to think it can't happen again.
Again. I am not predicting a McCain upset. But I am saying that if you support Barack, go to the nearest HQ. Make some phone calls to swing states. If you can travel for the campaign, do. They'll find a place for you. If you can help get out the vote, if you can be a poll monitor, if you have a friend who you know does not intend to vote for Obama, but might if pushed - push. If you know an Obama supporter who might be too lazy to vote, offer to drive them to the polls. And prepare any Obama voter you know in a red state to wait a long, long time at the polls. To expect discouragement. Encourage everyone you know not listen to the news Tuesday until AFTER they've voted. Ignore predictions from the networks, they have been wrong before.
Yes, Obama supporters. Obama will most likely win. But you will enjoy his victory and the resulting benefits so much more, the more you help make it happen. And, for all anyone knows, you might, actually, make it happen.
For more details on how you can help click here.