A Democratic Landslide Underway?

Johnathan Brown

Two years ago on Election Day I went door knocking in Bailey Hall and other University dorms with the Minnesota Student Association. Much to my chagrin I was met with thick apathy, finding that less than half of students had voted or planned to. My, has that changed this year. ‘Storming’ through Yudof Hall I was met with student after student telling me they had already voted. This trend did not change throughout the day. Everyonehad voted. Every single eligible student I talked to. Obviously the stakes are higher this year. In ’06 the notable races were gubernatorial (Pawlenty/Hatch/Hutchinson), Senate (Klobuchar/Kennedy) and congressional (Ellison/…can’t quite remember his opponent, but he lost by a wide margin). This year we not only have Senators and congresspersons to vote for, but we get to cast our ballots in a much anticipated and historic presidential race. Regardless, students are actually turning out to vote in substantial numbers…very substantial numbers. This is the year when politicians start to seriously weigh student concerns, concerned themselves with pleasing a now powerful voting bloc. Kudos to my fellow students!

The early returns are looking very good for the Democrats…very good. I had predicted Obama to win by 8 points with 364 electoral votes, but factoring in large student turnout (assuming excitement here at the U is at least partially comparable to campuses around the country) it now looks as if the Democrats and Barack Obama are headed for a landslide, perhaps topping 375 electoral votes. The only ‘swing state’ I put in McCain’s column yesterday was Indiana. Judging by early returns, that state is now looking like it’s leaning blue. If it does, turn your sights onto North Dakota, Georgia and Montana, because all other ‘swing states,’ i.e. North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Nevada will be surefire Barack country. Exit polling is showing a very solid margin for Obama in Minnesota, something like 54 to 39. If that holds true, Franken is a shoe-in and the Dems may be poised to nab the magically filibuster-proof ’60.’ All in all, this is looking to be a Democratic trouncing. If the Republicans can hold Susan Collins in Maine, they may want to consider it a moral victory.