So here is my first election day report from Iowa. Early voting started here weeks ago. Polling stations have been set up everywhere! Office buildings, libraries, grocery stores, college dormitories have all had early voting sites set up inside. At my local grocery store 10 days ago, I saw a line of about 30 people waiting to vote (I live in a pretty small town so a line of 30 people is noteworthy). Most of them were younger and several of them looked like high school kids voting for the first time.
When I went to volunteer for the get out the vote effort over the weekend, I heard they had so many volunteers they knocked on every door they wanted to hit by election day on Saturday alone. So on Sunday, I was left "filling in the gaps." When I got home, there were two door hangers from Obama people who had knocked on my door while I was out knocking on theirs.
The latest polls show that Obama has about 54% of the support with McCain down around 38.7%. For the non-Americans who visit our blog, Iowa is a predominantly rural state with a few small cities scattered around the state. In the past several elections, Iowa has been very close. Gore barely won this state and Kerry barely lost it. If Obama is ahead by these kinds of numbers he is getting lots of support from white, rural voters. That is a very good sign. It was Iowa that vaulted Obama to frontrunner status and people around here remember that and are kind of proud of it. A LOT of yards here don't have Obama/Biden signs up. Instead they still have the original "HOPE" signs that Obama handed out for the Iowa Caucus. These signs have been up for over a year!
I'll be spending election night with African American friends who are hosting an election night party. I suspect it will be an emotional night.