I remember four years ago…
02:24 Update: What a difference 45 minutes makes, eh? Ohio has been called for Obama, and I think I’m feeling a weird sense of “this can’t be” mixed with eager anticipation, though the free alcohol isn’t helping. This all said, I won’t believe it till I see the number “270” writ large on the projector screen downstairs.
Four years ago tonight I did the highly forgettable thing of sleeping on a pub floor. When I went to sleep, just as is happening now, the Electoral College votes were stacking up for the Democratic candidate. Now I find myself feeling excited, because Pennsylvania has been called for the Dem’s. Yet, I remember how, when I awoke, the numbers had changed so dramatically, and what had started as a build up to a win turned so quickly to a horrifying defeat. I’ve been here before, and to be honest, I don’t know what to make of it.
One of the people I’m watching it all unfold alongside, and who has lent me a network login so I can post this, is telling everyone to just believe the polling data, and not gut instincts, because the polling data is more accurate. My response was quite simple: I would, but its not like polling data hasn’t been used and manipulated before.
In fact, what’s really annoying me right now is the way Fox News seem to be calling stuff stupidly generously for McCain. What does this say? I reason that surely everyone must realise how wrong Fox is, but no sooner have the words left my mouth than I realise that many, in fact, do not realise this; Fox is still the source of choice for news for many, and in late-polling states, those who rely on Fox might be given extra cheer to go vote for McCain. I doubt it’ll help Obama much; as we can clearly see from the enormous lead he is currently enjoying, his states are the early closers, and the late votes are McCain’s to win, which Fox could be doing a stella job of rallying. Or maybe I’m just jaded by my two previous experiences of elections.
I should say that in 2000, I only really became glued to the whole election thing once it had already happened. I don’t remember thinking of Bush as being particularly bad until polling day. If anything, all I remember is waking up to discover breaking news about controversial ballots, and then, only then, really feeling any pain about the loss.
Someone downstairs seems to have come prepared for all eventualities: both bubbly and a box of tissues. If I had to say which will be more useful tonight, I’d really struggle to answer.
Every election has its own claim on history. Tonight, whilst I hope we can all keep some perspective, no matter which way this goes, I hope to see the first Democratic President elected since I really began following American Electoral Politics in any detail. Someone downstairs seems to have over prepared