Oct 27 2008
Last week Senator Obama came to Northern Virginia – Leesburg to be exact. There he pulled a crowd of 10,000 people (though almost half left before he was even done speaking?). Today Governor Sarah Palin came to Leesburg, VA and also pulled a crowd of 10,000 people. A picture of the event this cold autumn Monday morning from US News & World Report tells the story with a caption:
She’s in there somewhere. Can you find Palin in the crowd? Here the crowd cheered, “Use your brain, vote McCain,” to which Palin said “You betcha! That’s good.” And in introducing “Tito the Builder” and “Jack the Hunter,” she also ripped “Barack the Wealth Spreader” to about 10,000.
So VP candidate Palin pulled the same crowd size in the same Northern Virginia town as Obama – that is amazing. Obama will win Northern Virginia, but if he only pulls off a small win VA will go for McCain-Palin, no question about it. Â I want to see the other crowd sizes Palin will see on her 3 city tour of Virginia, but right now this data point tells me Virginia is close, and maybe well within reach of McCain-Palin.
There is no way a VP candidate should be able to compete with the top of the opposite ticket in crowd size, especially if the state in question is supposedly solidly for Obama in the polls. These independent data points can validate or invalidate polls and their statistical models. As of this morning I would say the polls are not being validated at all. The polls showing a huge Obama lead are relying on a huge differential in support between McCain and Obama supporters. Today Sarah was able to show that there is no huge advantage here for Obama, at best he gets a tie.
Which in VA means he will lose this state by 5+% on election day. I am not making any predictions (did that in 2006 and paid a price for it). All I am saying is independent data distinct from polls is not showing a huge enthusiasm gap in VA for The One.