Mike Ginsberg, chairman of the 8th District Republican Committee for the Republican Party of Virginia, writes in to let me know that the effort in my neck of the woods isn’t as bad as the television advertising disparity would seem.
I know it looks like this area is for Obama by a mile, with all the yard signs and everything, but I wanted to make a few points to give you some reason for optimism.
One of the jobs of our committee is to provide bumper stickers and signs to supporters. We can’t keep enough of these materials in stock. We get cleaned out of signs and stickers week after week at local farmers’ markets and local festivals and events. There is an enormous amount of support up here in NoVA for the McCain-Palin ticket. The response has been extremely encouraging, absolutely phenomenal. Witness the 23,000 person rally in Fairfax. Bring McCain and Palin back up here to NoVA, and I’ll bet you get another 23,000 folks. The enthusiasm generated with the Palin pick is also still very, very strong.
(I’m going to quibble oh-so-slightly with Mike’s number here, noting that the fire marshall put the turnout at 15,000, but Fairfax City Police put it at 23,000. Having said that, believe me, it was a big crowd.)
Our volunteer centers in Arlington and Fairfax are some of the most packed in the country. There are more people than phones! We have canvassed more houses than ever before, called more people than ever before, and have staffed tons of events. The volunteer response up here in NoVA has been simply overwhelming. and the absolutely first-class campaign staff has done a great job of deploying resources to maximize this enthusiasm.
And one thing to keep in mind — Jim Webb needed to absolutely run the table in NoVA to squeak past George Allen in 2006. Even with the Iraq war going badly, the Washington Post screaming “macaca” from the rooftops for three straight weeks, and general national malaise about Republicans, Jim Webb won by less than 10,000 votes, and he did so only by running up big margins in NoVA. I don’t think that will happen this year. Republicans in NoVA are energized, and they are coming out to vote.
So take heart — Northern Virginia Republicans are working very hard and are very enthused, and remember that yard signs don’t vote. The medians may be festooned with Obama signs, but medians don’t vote either. I am optimistic, and I really believe the polls are just not capturing this enthusiasm.
I would note that my own internal* polling in Yuppie Acres, my neighborhood within this district, has remained steady since the end of the Democratic primary, with 50 percent of respondents for McCain and 50 percent of respondents undecided between Obama and writing in Hillary.
(*By internal, I mean, inside my home.)