With each passing day I'm further and further into the bubble of process, less and less aware of the larger picture. About all I can tell you is where the early voting sites are today (the Iowa City library and the law building).
And my vantage point is awful. Liberal academic communities like Iowa City are probably the most pro-Obama places that exist outside major metro areas, and my entire social circle consists of fellow political activists, so I have absolutely no idea what Real People are thinking. I'm so tapped out that I resorted to cat pictures last night, just to have something to post.
My gut tells me the President's going to be all right; my experience tells me there's a lot of hard work left to go. I've played so many different roles in election cycles: election office staffer, journalist, volunteer, candidate -- but I NEVER worked harder than the one cycle I was a campaign staffer.
The other weekend I got a call asking me to volunteer - for the other team. I understand why it happened: I've covered a few Republican events and subscribe to their email list. Easy mistake. I cut her off as soon as I realized what was happening, but I told her: "I respect anyone who volunteers for what they believe."
Or takes a break from school and life to work 18 hour days for not much money as a field staffer, for that matter. That's what I did - and I never looked back. And now the cycle of my life revolves around a different calendar, based not around the semesters and graduations that are the milestones for the rest of my community, or the number of shopping days till Christmas. I worked my one and only retail Black Friday last year, and it ain't nuthin' compared to election season.
Let's look at some stuff I thought was interesting.
The always interesting for trivia geeks Smart Politics looks at Christie Vilsack's race to become Iowa's first woman in Congress, with a long chart of past female candidates (Lynn Cutler came closest). Over the weekend - I AM way behind - the Register endorsed my predicted list of the next Iowa congressional delegation: Braley, Loebsack, VIlsack, and Latham.
We have a congressional candidate who has never set foot in Iowa: George Krail in the 1st CD. This Gazette piece also solves the mystery of his ally Alan Aversa in the 2nd CD. They're connected to Operation Rescue. But even these guys are better than the Democratic (!) Senate nominee in Tennessee, who the Washington Post calls "2012's worst candidate":
Democrats have told their voters just to write in a name instead of voting for Clayton. But at this low ebb, they don’t have another name to suggest.Another mystery solved: An actual article about Ames egotist Jerry Litzel, running for president just to see his name on the ballot.
Just pick somebody, voters are told. Word is, a lot of early voters used "Big Bird."
Down the ballot: The Register looks at Senate leader Mike Gronstal's race, with a useful sidebar of the top-tier Iowa Senate contests.
Gronstal-bashing is an issue in Senate District 6, Douglas Burns reports, as Gronstal cousin Mary Bruner (who has a big money lead on the last report) is getting bashed for her family ties by Republican Mark Segebart. And in Senate 30, GOP challenger Matt Reisetter gets Biblical and R-Rated simultaneously.
From the rightosphere: The Conservative Reader had been overviewing Iowa Senate races. Some of the assessments are too generous for their team - Senate 44 just "leaning" to Democratic incumbent Tom Courtney?!? - but still a good read.
Troll the poll: Local conservative site Coralville Courier is running a poll on the Board of Supervisors. The Democratic incumbents got the P-C endorsement, but stealth Republican "independents" Fesler and Etheredge are winning this online poll. You know what to do.