Election Day Forecast, Akron, Ohio

For my Obama minute today, I went down to the local campaign headquarters, to get a briefing about my Election Day role. I’m going to be the “red team captain,” responsible for polling site operations in Ward 8, focusing on the targeted precincts, H and K. More on this later.

First, a bit of scene setting. The phone bank room was literally packed. Young, old, black, white. Sitting at a long table, dialing away. A long table packed with food, brought in by other volunteers, along the wall.

Next door, in the Democratic headquarters, it was also a hive of activity, with about a half dozen people putting Obama-Biden yard signs together.

I brought in some buttons that say “Barack Obama” in Hebrew. No sooner had I put them on the table than a local Ecumenical minister, a black man, maybe in his 60s, flashed a huge, gold-capped grin, and picked up a pin, admiring the Hebrew letters. Then he reached out, and, without saying anything, we shook hands. A black Christian minister from Akron, and a Jewish writer from Jersey.

Something’s happening here.

As I was walking out, I glanced up at the wall. The headquarters walls are crammed with posters and signs and newspaper clippings and maps, outlining territory, and letters from school kids — crayon drawings — along with a few photos of Barack and his family. But there, by the door, was a single sheet of people with the five-day forecast. Written on top: “Elect Obama, Rain or Shine.”

It’s been miserable here in Northeast Ohio this week. Snow, hail. Wind. Threatening to hit 32 degrees. When Dan Shapiro was here the other day, he jokingly (but pleadingly) said: It’s not going to be like this on Election Day, is it?

Democrats need turnout on election day. And the better the weather, the better the turnout.

Just today, the weather turned. Bright sunshine. Cool, but crisp.

According to that piece of paper in the local Akron office, Election Day will be mostly sunny, high of 59, low of 44, with a 10 percent chance of rain.

We’re waitin’. Waitin’ on a sunny day.

5 Responses to “Election Day Forecast, Akron, Ohio”

  1. Irv Sugerman says:


    I have been meaning to give you a little feedback on the Summit County races, per your post last week.

    Though I agree with most of your selections. I do want to tell you that Gerg Bachman for County Engineer is a much better choice. I have worked with greg and his staff for many years now and he is far and away the best candidate. His opponent is a good guy, but this one is not even close. Now, you may think that County Engineer is a pretty boring race, but just wait til your bridge is ready to collapse. Then you’ll thank me…

    On the judicial races, I do think that both Lynne Callahana and Brenda Burnham Unruh are well qualified. Both have shown me that they deserve to be on the bench.

    On another note, I was at the Observer traingn last evening. The temasters Hal was filled. Lines are ling at the early voting site. People are excited. I even had a lawyer from Wooster who I had never mat or spoken to tell me that as a lifelong R, he was going to pull the lever for Obama. From his mouth…


  2. Neurotic Dem says:

    This is terrific feedback — thanks for contributing. I’m going to cut and paste it, and copy it as a comment to that post, so people can see it for themselves. (You can get directly to those posts by clicking on the category “Ohio Ballot” — you can also search.)
    Your endorsement means a great deal.
    On the judges — I hear you — and I think it’s worth considering, but I have a hard time pulling the lever for Conservative judges, in general, because of different values, for instance, when it comes to things like sentencing, etc. If I knew them, or had more information, it would be an easier call.
    Thanks again.

  3. Amalie says:

    I was there making calls Thursday evening, and the scene — just as you described — was enough to temporarily ease the nausea that seems to have permanently lodged itself in my throat. All the phone bank phones were taken, so people went to sit outside in their cars and make calls on their cell phones. The volunteer running the phone bank admired my Hebrew Obama button, so I gave it to her. She’s here from California, helping make it happen in NE Ohio.

    I voted this morning and the scene there was like a nice big gulp of Maalox for my nervous tummy. The site was supposed to open at 8am. I got there at 7:45am and the place was jumping. They opened early because they knew people would start lining up outside. I was in and out in thirty minutes, even with a crowd that I’d estimate at maybe 150 people. I saw a lot of people with Democratic sample ballots and I felt — oh, dare I say it?!?! — cautiously optimistic.

  4. Neurotic Dem says:

    I’ve given that Hebrew button off my shirt three times now, myself! (Including to the rabbi and his wife … so that has to count for even more, right?) Good thing I have a stash of extras at home.
    Know anyone who still needs one?
    Thanks for the voting story. Felt the same way this morning. Just posted about it ….

  5. damien says:

    I like your layout. Have your web guy hit me up.

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