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<nettime> thoughts on US election
atourek on Sun, 9 Nov 2008 23:29:31 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> thoughts on US election

Hi all, 

a little perspective from the landlocked, republican-entrenched state of
Nebraska, USA. I should explain, there are actually 2 Nebraskas: Omaha/East
(district 2, 600,000 pop.), and the whole rest of the state (dist. 1,3 1
mil pop.). any geographer/sociologist/economist would be able to verify the
huge ideological gaps between the two. Last election, NE cast at least a
60% republican popular vote, and that was no surprise. This place, with the
exceptions of Omaha and Lincoln, is full of god-fearing, corn-growing
conservatives. good people, but stubbornly old-fashioned. 

Something interesting has occurred this time around, though. Nebraska,
along with Maine, is allowed to split its 5 electoral votes if need be.
this has never happened in NE until this year. Obama won the 2nd district
(a narrow margin of 1200, but a win none the less), and we have cast our
first democratic vote since 1964. It appears that Omaha has decided to
divorce its rural roots and try something new. 

now, I am not a devout democrat by any means, registered nonpartisan, but I
have to say the hair on the back of my neck was standing up on election
night, and this past friday when the 2nd district finished its count. this
election has changed people's attitude toward politics in this place; that
blue circle on the map, surrounded by a sea of red spanning from texas to
north dakota means that people took it upon themselves to stir up the
conservative heartland from the river town of Omaha. 

from the press:

"Turnout was so high in the Nebraska 1st Congressional District that some
"polling places had run out of ???I Voted??? stickers by early afternoon."

"This is the strongest voter turnout I can ever remember in this town,"
"polling place volunteer Sheila Beck (from Clarke, a central Nebraska farm
"town of 361 people) told another colleague. "People are fired up to vote
"whichever way they're voting." 
i'm not putting all of my eggs in Obama's basket; the next few years will
tell if this hope fruits change. But, for the time being, I will be excited
about what Sen. Obama has done to lift a veil of political apathy around
here, especially among young people. 


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