Guest Blogger

How Obama's Rise in the Polls Could Cost Him the Election

Filed By Guest Blogger | October 09, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, election 2008, Joe Biden, John McCain

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Scott K is a gay man living in sin with his partner of over twelve years whom he still cannot legally marry. Scott says he's not politically active because he wants to be, but he has to be. He takes very seriously Thomas Jefferson's famous quote "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" which, strangely enough, he thinks he first heard on an episode of The Simpsons. Scott has one cat, two dogs, and a lot of opinions.

scott-tbp-filmgrain.jpgUnless you've been hiding away in a remote land like Alaska this past week, I'm sure you're aware that several recent polls have shown Barack Obama holding a statically significant lead over John McCain nationwide. More importantly, Obama is gaining in several key swing states. The numbers have caused McCain to have supposedly pulled out of Michigan to use his resources elsewhere, in effect conceding the state to Obama.

So as an Obama-supporter, why am I not smiling?

Simple: Obama's rise in polls could cost him the election.

All over the political blogosphere I am seeing victory cries in response to the poll results. Some blogs and pundits even went as far as to say that Obama effectively won the election when McCain announced he was leaving Michigan. But when I look at the calendar and see that the election is still roughly four weeks away, I wonder why are we celebrating. In terms of the public's notoriously fickle mind, that's still a very long time off. Anything could happen between now and then, and I have no doubt the McCain campaign still has a few tricks up their sleeve.

With the rise in polls, Obama's supporters have begun to assume that his election to President is assured. They no longer think their donation to his campaign is as needed or volunteering their time as critical. Worse yet, come election day, that busy mother-of-three may decide that it's ok not to vote as she needs to take kids to soccer practice and she doesn't have the time. Or the overworked employee may decide that he's too tired to get up extra early so he can vote before he goes to work. After all, Obama is going to win, right? Surely their one little vote won't make a difference. Unfortunately, there is no one making the call to remind them how important their vote really is.

Meanwhile over on the other side, McCain and Palin have become the underdogs. Their supporters know that in order for them to have a chance to win, they must do everything they can. They're still giving donations and making phone calls to undecided voters. They are reminding their base that it is absolutely critical that every single one of them votes.

So as we sit in front of our televisions on the evening of November 4th and watch crucial states like Florida and Ohio be called for McCain, who will we have to blame?

No one but our own lazy selves.

We can't blame Obama or Biden for not campaigning hard enough like we did with Kerry and Edwards after the 2004 election. No, they did their part. The question will be, did we do ours?

The video below demonstrates a easy way that you can get involved and help ensure Barack Obama gets elected. By you, I mean you - the person reading this right now. There is simply no excuse for you not to do your part.


iPhone users: Click to watch


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I share your concern, and hope that everybody at Bilerico -- and our readers -- will continue to fight hard in whatever way you can. You could swing a few votes in your precinct that will swing your state Obama's way. All predictions on the election is that it's going to be close.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 9, 2008 11:02 AM

Scott, You are so absolutely right. We live in a dream of perceptions. Like, when we won Florida in 2000. Not again!

HA!

I didn't think the picture of me (slightly) smiling when end up right next to the line "So as an Obama-supporter, why am I not smiling?"

I thought the juxtaposition was poetic. :)

They no longer think their donation to his campaign is as needed or volunteering their time as critical.

I don't get it. Is fundraising down? He's releasing Q3 numbers soon and they're supposed to be big. They're saying 1.5 million new donors.

I haven't heard that volunteering is down either.

Worse yet, come election day, that busy mother-of-three may decide that it's ok not to vote as she needs to take kids to soccer practice and she doesn't have the time. Or the overworked employee may decide that he's too tired to get up extra early so he can vote before he goes to work. After all, Obama is going to win, right? Surely their one little vote won't make a difference. Unfortunately, there is no one making the call to remind them how important their vote really is.

I haven't seen any indicators predicting lower turnout than in 2004 either....

I don't know, I'm not saying that people should give up, obviously. But I just don't see any indication that they are giving up. And I think that good polling numbers generally inspire people to work harder instead of less. That's why campaigns hate seeing public polls that show that they're behind.

Your point is valid, that people should keep on volunteering and donating, and that we should turn out for the elections, but the level of enthusiasm I've seen this year from the left is far greater than what I was seeing in 2004. If he does lose or something happens between now and election day, I think we can see what happened then.

There is something to be said for momentum. It does tend to bring people on board.

I'm not saying the above is happen per se, but over-confidence by the Democrats/Obama-supporters could be very dangerous. Nothing is assured at the point. McCain is growing more and more erratic every day, and we need to be there to counter his desperation attacks. We need to remember to take nothing for granted.

Blockmeister | October 9, 2008 3:55 PM

Ok, you have me convinced. I'll go to the website!
I have never been this politically interested every in my 46 years.

One of the biggest dangers a campaign faces is voter complacency. When they assume their candidate will win, they don't think they have to turn out to vote. No votes = no winning candidate.

It's a valid concern!

Thanks for reminding me. I'm a 16 year old intern/volunteer for the Barack Obama campaign, living in NC. It's going to be very close here in this battleground state, I can tell. I have a 3 day weekend and I'm committing almost every hour possible, save sunday night to helping with Barack's campaign. I think after this whole ordeal is over with, I'm going to feel very elated that I contributed a lot of my time to Obama's campaign.

Thats why if you can go vote early do so I already have voted its the im to busy and my sides going to win folks who turn a lead in to a tie or yet even worse a loss.That is another reason I dont trust polls many a person shouts loud and hard for there candidate but when it comes voting time thats somebody elses job not mine.So go vote and did I say early if you can after all most who read this blog have made up there minds long ago on who there going to vote for so go do it.

Carry on
Cathy

I'm impressed at how many of you are already or are getting involved.

Well done!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 9, 2008 9:20 PM

We need to be doing all that we can to elect Sen. Obama has our next president including explaining to our family and friends that a vote for John McCain is a vote for discrimination against LGBT people.

Having McCain and the even more anti-gay Sarah Palin in the White House would mean four more years of no progress on the federal level for LGBT civil rights.

I am taking the final week of the campaign off to volunteer full-time with the campaign. I am already heavily involved with Obama Pride and reaching out to voters in the critical state of Virginia.

In a number of the key states LGBT voters can make the difference and we need to have record turnout. This is crunch time and we need to play our part.

The further ahead in the polls he gets the bigger the target and news he becomes.Just today I was watching Lou Dobbs making a big deal about what's going on in Acorn and Obama's attachment to it.There is plenty of time left for Obama to lose this race just in bad press or false info let alone complacency.

They will steal votes. They will suppress voter turnout from "the wrong people."

There is one response. Flood the polls. Flood the fucking polls! Get so many votes that they can't steal them.

P.s., Your State legislators and judges could make life very bad very fast Your county commissioners could turn $YourCounty Community College into $YourCounty Bible College.

And remember, Sally Kern is a Democrat. There are some bad people on the ballot, regardless of party

Vote for everybody you believe in. Flood the polls!

Thanks, Rev. Bob.

In all the excitement over Obama's candidacy and possible victory, do not for a moment overlook the races in your area for city council, school board, state legislature, judges, and Congressional races. These races, it could be argued, may mean more to you in your everyday life than who might become President, important as that is. All of us must deal with our local and state governments at points in our life, and it is not difficult to speak directly to local candidates who are standing for election. I would encourage everyone to do so.

Every citizen of this country should vote - but be sure you vote at all levels, and be a thinking voter who does his/her homework, first. It is your obligation as an American citizen.