Virginia – Day 8 (and a bit of 9)

Very hectic.  All the stops are being pulled out on the ground here in Alexandria.  Unlike the Florida McCain office that FiveThirtyEight (the bible on polls, by the way), photographed tonight, I can assure you, having just left it, that the Obama Field Office in Alexandria, VA, is still working.  That’s 1am local time.  There are at least twenty people in there now preparing for tomorrow’s canvassing and telephone banking work.

The volume of work done today was so huge that it took the whole Data Team (of which I’m a member) until now to get the information into the system and ready for preparation for tomorrow.  I talked earlier in the week about my first 500 “Data Entries for Victory”.  I’m way past the 5,000 mark at this stage, and losing count.

Early voting in Virginia has been hugely popular.  Queues first thing this morning (Saturday) were reported at two hours, and I believe they got longer as they day went on.  There’s no more early voting in VA, so it’s all down to Tuesday now.

The Biggest Conference Call Ever?

This evening, around 10pm, we had a conference call with Barack Obama.  By “we”, I mean the full time volunteers and staff in every field office across the country – 20,000 people at least, according to Jon Carson (National Field Director).  Obama asked volunteers to redouble efforts to get out the vote, and it was a great fillup for people, many of whom were in their 14th hour of the working day.  Energy levels were definitely higher when it was over.  People really appreciated the direct involvement of Obama – a handful of those in the room had been to rallies before, but most (including me) have only ever seen him on TV.

Last 72 Hours

We’re now in the famous “last 72 hours”.  This is when the voters who’ve been won over during the last year need to be got to the polling stations.  Obama will win in Alexandria and surrounding areas, but it’s the margin of victory here that matters.  We must ensure that he wins by such a large margin, and with such a huge turnout, in Alexandria and other strong Blue areas that it counteracts the strong Republican vote in the south and west of the State.  That can be a difficult sell to people when they see everyone around them supporting Obama.  But complacency must be avoided.

Other Irish in VA

Gavin is leaving Virginia on his way to Ohio, Indianapolis and Chicago (ambitious!), while Ian is with a Labour Youth team in…eh..somewhere in Virginia!


There’s a rumour that Hillary Clinton will be in town tomorrow for a rally, but nobody seems to know more.  Barack Obama will be a few miles away in Manassas, VA, on Monday evening, but we’ll be far too busy doing data entry and phone banking to go.  Of course, if he wants to come along and give us a dig out with that, maybe we can find the time ;-).

Apologies if this is rambling or doesn’tmake sense.  It’s well after 1am now, and I’ve just done a 14 hour shift of data entry and processing.

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