Though I have been in DC now (technically Bethesda, MD) for two weeks, I've still been monitoring the news from back home via the internet.
So it was that this article jumped out at me this morning. It confirms three major things.
a) Voter turnout will be the highest ever on record in Alabama, many of the new voters going out to the polls utterly enthused and thoroughly motivated by Obama's inclusion on the ballot.
b) Alabama is a greying state which retains few of its young adults. I recognize that fact ever more keenly since I've been up here. DC, by great contrast, is full of people my own age from all over the country, if not the world. I can see now why many people leave Alabama after high school or college, never to return. There is so much more to see and do, and much more opportunity in the north.
c) Though John McCain will easily win Alabama, his margin of victory will be significantly less than it would be for a GOP standard-bearer in previous elections. It will be interesting to see if this signifies a long term trend or is merely a result of the novel, unique, once-in-a-generation nature of Obama's campaign. If African-American turnout is 90% or higher, the gap would be narrowed considerably, since the state's population is a little less than 1/3 black.
I just wish that we'd see this degree of voter interest and participation more often. Back home, those who cast their ballots tomorrow will likely have to wait for thirty to forty minutes to get the ability. I've waited in line that long before and I have to say it never annoys me. This is because I believe voting to be a civic responsibility. We have so much in this country, and we live in a land ridiculously wealthy and blessed with excess compared to most other nations in the world. The least we can do is bother to show up at polling places and select our latest slate of representatives.