The Real Surge

Mon, January 28, 2008


South Carolina has come and gone. But the political landscape looks much different than it did just two days ago.

There’s been a major atmospheric shift in the presidential election. Did anyone really see Barack Obama winning the South Carolina Democratic primary by such a huge margin? The winds, for the moment, are blowing in a new direction, but I’m not sure whether they’re stirring up a hurricane or just a temporary breeze.

The demographic breakdowns are out and we all know which types of voters went for which candidates. I’m sure the cable news networks will be busy dissecting those results at least until Super Tuesday.

As they do, I have one suggestion – while you’re focusing on whether the color of our skin or our two X chromosomes played a bigger role in Obama’s victory, spend some time analyzing the size of the voter turn-out, as well.

That’s where the real “surge” story is these days.

In 2004 about 290,000 people voted in the South Carolina Democratic primary — this year, that many people had voted by lunch time. The total voter turn-out was almost double what it was four years ago.


It’s no secret that we Americans tend to take our right to vote for granted and like to find excuses to stay at home on election day. But it seems like something started in Iowa and New Hampshire that some thought was an aberration from the excitement over the first two big contests.

An electoral nerve has been touched and voters have responded in a major way, and I’m betting that the folks who are getting ready for the primaries on February 5 had better have lots of extra ballots, plenty of bottled water and the patience of Job, because the voters are coming like we haven’t seen for a long time.

What is clear is that record numbers of Americans, at least for the moment, have said with their actions, ‘We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.’ How can that be anything but good?

What do you think? Is there a change a’coming in how we view our right to have a say in who’s going to sit in the Oval Office? Or was it just a slow day at the office?

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10 Responses to “The Real Surge”

  1. Paige Says:

    Number one, I think people are pissed off at the status quo and want to do something about it. I also think they’re pissed off at the divisive tactics that the Clintons used in recent weeks against Obama. And I think after years of this, people just want to see someone in office who doesnt think in terms of vast right wing conspiracies or us versus them. I think people want a statesman who can transcend all the b.s. and make us shoot for the moon.

  2. Mom101 Says:

    THANK YOU for this. I’m annoyed that on one hand the media fans the flames, all while pointing the finger at it as well. But I’m more annoyed that the real lead is buried, which is about how mobilized the voters have been. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. impromptublogger Says:

    One thing that kind of pisses me off is the way Obama is portrayed as the “black” candidate. Well, excuse me but his Mom is white and he was primarily raised by her. Culturally he is probably more white than black although in later years he obviously explored his father’s side and went to his home country.

    The point is that comparing him to Jackson is apples and oranges. Obama can live in both worlds because unfortunately he had to learn to do that at an early age. Keeping Bill on a short lease is obviously needed.

  4. Florinda Says:

    Maybe the fact that the primary wasn’t held on a “day at the office,” but rather on Saturday, helped the turnout? That’s not to suggest that there aren’t plenty of reasons to be mobilized, but I’m just wondering if the timing was better for them to get out and cast those votes.

    And speaking of voting, I’d better get my absentee ballot sent out tomorrow – Super Tuesday is just a week away!

  5. Amy S. Says:

    Yeah, we’re all mad as hell. Too bad it took a totally inept administration running the country into the ground to shake us out of our political apathy. I’m hopeful this will be the trend for this election, but I’m sure that once the economy and our national security are back on track, we’ll be as indifferent as ever!!!

  6. judy in ky Says:

    I certainly do hope that there is a “change a’coming”. Add me to the list of those who are mad as hell at the status quo, at the sheer ineptitude and arrogance in Washington, and at “politics as usual”.
    There have been times during the past seven-plus years that I felt a bit nostalgic about Bill Clinton, but all that evaporated as I witnessed his recent divisiveness.
    I don’t know why there is such a rush to eliminate other candidates. What about Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul? Just because we don’t live in Iowa, New Hampshire, or Nevada, we have no say?

  7. Mauigirl Says:

    Let’s hope it does mean there is a big change coming. I just hope it all doesn’t backfire somehow and we end up with another Republican.

  8. Outlaw Says:

    I like this. There isn’t a single person that has looked into Obama or Hillary. Impromptublogger daid”Culturally he is probably more white than black although in later years he obviously explored his father’s side and went to his home country.” That statement is as far from the truth as you can get. Obama’s step father had him in Wahabbi Madrassa which is a extremist Sunni Islamic religious academy. The very same people that out roops are fighting now in Iraq and Afgan.
    Than you have Hitlery. This is the woman that wants to take profits from business’s and spend them how she thinks they should be spent. Well now if that isn’t Communistic. Not to mention she wants to start one more welfare program that is going to cost you, me and every other working person more than what it is worth. It is called National Health Care. Here is a Social/Communistic program. If you think it is so good than why is it that over 20 million Brits are going to private healthcare rather than their national care, as well as Canada. They are trying to get rid of their National Health Care because it doesn’t work and it is costing to much. But no the people of this country don’t care they want the government to give them and that is all they care about.
    Just like this planned parenthood crap. Would you mind telling me just what happen to parents taking care of their own children. Why is the government even involved in this. It is not the responsibility of the government to raise, educate, teach, discipline, or do anything else with your kids. That is YOUR job. If you can’t handle it than don’t have kids. I am so tired of people wanting the government to do this and that “for the kids”. I grew up in the same time as most of you in here and I got my but beat when I did something wrong. I got grounded, a lot of good that did. I paid more attention to getting my but beat than anything else. It hurt. That was the point. It was a punishment for doing something that I knew I wasn’t suposed to. I didn’t end up in jail, beating my wife, robbing people, stealing, or anything like that. I don’t beat my kids but if they need it I wont think twice about busting their butts either. It is like anything in this world, there are limits and there are some people that cross them and yes they should be busted for it. But to sit there and tell me that I have to do this or that if my kids do something wrong and I am not allowed to bust their backside that is non of your business. One of the problems in this country is that no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions they want everyone else to take the blame and it needs to stop.
    As to Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul. They have been out of the race for a while. Dennis gave up and told his supporters to back Obama.
    As to there being a Republican back in the White House. Look at the polls that are out right now. Your Democrats are losing to the Republicans. No one wants Hitlery and no one trusts Obama and Edwards never had a chance like the rest of them. So looks like you will be getting another Republican in the Oval Office.

  9. Mama Noire Says:

    Outlaw — how can you say Obama is more white than black? He IS black — there’s no escaping it.

    I think the huge Saturday numbers were due in part to a mesh of reasons: voting was held on a Saturday, people are mad as hell, but more importantly voters are passionate about the candidates who are running. When there are three great candidates, primaries become really exciting!

  10. Outlaw Says:

    Mama Noire, To start with I guess you didn’t read or see the ” marks. I am not the one that called him white Impromptublogger did. I have never said he is white. What I said is you need to look into his past to find out what he thinks. He is no better than Hitlery about his flip flopping. He supports the Islams and than he supports the Israelis. He can’t make up his mind who to support. He says he is a christian and yet he was raised in an extremist Sunni Islamic religious academy. He can’t make up his mind any better than Hitlery. Now as to him being great candidate that is yet to be seen. Right now Clinton is in the lead of Obama and Edwards by 9.7% and McCain is in the lead by 6.7%. In a head to head McCain would beat Hitlery as to Obama it would be close and McCain would beat Edwards hands down. But the problem is that people are learning the truth about Obama and they aren’t liking the fact that he is trying to hide it. So keep dreaming about those Democrats because there is going to be another Republican in the Oval Office in 08.
    As to the comment about there being 3 great candidates that is no were near the truth. I don’t call someone that wants to take the profits of a company and spend them the way she thinks they should be spent. Nor do I think that starting a National Health Care program that will cost this country BILLIONS if not TRILLIONS is smart. I also don’t think someone that wasn’t even in office running around saying that “I never supported the war” is much better. That is like say after a wreck that you shouldn’t have done that. But what is funny is even though he is saying that he hasn’t done a thing to try and get the troops out. Well now if that isn’t a flip flop. People need to start waking up take the rosy colored glasses off and look at these people. You have one that will not salute the flag of this country. Will not be sworn into office of this country on the bible. Refuses to admit that he is a musim and runs around after the fact saying I didn’t support the war. Yeah well he isn’t supporting the troops. You have one that has more socialist programs for this country than most Communists. And than you have one that is so far out of it that he is hoping for the VP spot. That is a great 3 there.
    I am not saying that the Republicans are much better. But they aren’t running around saying that they want to take the profits of companys or that they want to put the country into a bigger hole with National Health Care. There are things that McCain is for that I don’t believe in at all. Like his idea of illegal immagration. But I would take him over the others. As to National HealthCare if you think it is so great than go look into how many people in Britain are getting out of it because they can’t get the care they need. Or go look at Canada. They have a lottery in towns for health care because they don’t have enough money or doctors, not to mention meds. In Canada they are giving the government at least 40% of their paychecks just for that “benefit”. I’m sorry but I work to hard for what I make just for the government to take that much of it.
    Wake up and start looking into what these people are in favor of before you start saying that they are great.

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