Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For What It's Worth

This evening, I made the last of what turned out to be approximately 500 calls over the last few days for the McCain campaign (wonderful and simple tech; sign up on the web site, get fed numbers of registered voters, and fill out some drop-down menu items documenting the results of the calls). They were all in PA (I got to pick that, too). I was fully prepared to get yelled at quite a bit.

The results were quite a bit more encouraging than I'd expected for a state which had gone Blue the last few elections. Now, the vast majority of these calls consisted of messages on answering machines, about whose reception I will never know. There were also a great many wrong numbers, disconnected lines, busy signals, and sundry fax machines. I would say that I actually got through to maybe 10% of the voters I called. Of those, however, I found that upwards of 75% expressed strong or average support for McCain...and most of these were from families multiple members of whom would be voting the same way. I spoke with two undecided voters. One of them was leaning slightly toward McCain, and I think I left him slightly more favorably disposed to vote McCain-Palin.

What is interesting about this is that my highly unscientific, low-power polling turned out to be much more in line with the most optimistic polls than with those which have been churned out for general consumption. Again, I was rather taken aback by the strong support I encountered, and not just in the rural interior of the state.

It will not be long now till the American people will render the final judgment about who will take the tiller for the next four years. In due course, power will slide smoothly (by any historical standard) into a new set of hands. I plan to continue my personal tradition of dressing professionally for what is the closest thing to a religious observance that remains to me (pretty much the only time I ever wear a tie these days), and proudly press the touch pad to register my preference on the best course forward for our Republic. The fact that I was able to add just a wee bit more volume to my vote with a few phone calls has been a curiously empowering sensation.

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