Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Polling, Swing States, and Deaf People’s Impact

As we enter what is widely called the “Last Lap” – the final two weeks of campaigning – the candidates will be embarking on their last sprint around America, holding rallies and stumping in every place where it matters. Money and resources will be poured into crucial “battleground states.” Political pundits will be saying everywhere: Every single vote counts.

And know what? It’s true.

Every single vote counts.

Especially in the swing states. Here, let’s take a look at three different sources for polling of John McCain and Barack Obama’s standing in the United States of America:

CNN: Indiana is leaning red. Montana and North Dakota are also leaning red, while the tossup states are Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

Gallup: Taken between October 13-19, this poll doesn’t have a map; it simply polls by the region. John McCain carries the South with 51% majority and that’s the only region where he is leading. The region where the margins are the slimmest is the Midwest where Obama is leading 52% to 39%.

MSN's Slate Magazine: In this map, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Missouri are all tossup. Indiana is also identified as a tossup state rather than a red state, signifying that Obama and McCain are deadlocked there in this poll. Pennsylvania and Virginia are decidedly blue; “safe Democrat” rather than “leaning Democrat”

All three polls have the same information on the basics, states that are well known for solidly voting either red or blue. New York is a deep blue, while Texas is bleeding red. Big surprise. However, do you notice how the slight details differ with each poll. CNN shows some states leaning red that the Slate poll has still swinging.

The reason why I gave you three separate sources of polls is because you should never depend on just one poll to decide the outcome. Polls are always a fickle number and it’s hard to organize everybody on the barometer precisely. There is also a standard 3 % margin of error with all polls. The bottom line is that these poll results tell us that this election is going to be REALLY close. And as we get closer to November 4th, America is going to REALLY pay attention to these swing states.

It’s also interesting how some of the swing states are also well known for having a strong deaf population there: Ohio, Indiana, and Florida.

Deaf people can effect greater impact if they live in key swing states or neighboring states. If you live in a very important state, you’re in a lucky position. The deaf population in the swing states is definitely in a position of power. Your votes are very important and remember –People are going to listen to you. Your participation is valued. People are going to want to include you in the political process. You can seize this opportunity to expose and educate other people about your personal issues. What is important to you as a deaf American citizen? Chances are that the political parties will be glad to listen much closer to you and that spells good news for the rest of American deaf populations.

If you live in neighboring state to a swing state or in one of the solidly red/blue states: How many times have we crossed state lines to visit old friends or relatives? Crossing state lines is no big deal when you understand that your own personal involvement may make a much huger difference. Go visit your friends or relatives in swing states, talk to them, and encourage them to vote. Don’t want to travel? Ain’t VP great!?!? You can also call deaf people in the swing states and talk to them about political issues. The goal is simply to get the deaf people out to vote so that in the long run, the hearing people involved with the political world will recognize us as a viable demographic for tapping our vote. And November 4th is our day.

We are the deaf community. As the election comes closer and we know that even just a slim margin of 500 votes may decide a red or blue win, we must pay attention to ourselves and each other. Here’s a good example of strategy for political encouragement within a specific demographic: The Great Schlep for Jewish grandchildren and grandparents. You can take a page out of their book (or Torah?) and push the deaf community to GET OUT THE VOTE on Election Day 2008!

Every single vote counts.

And YOU matter!

(Photos courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/84/Electoral_map.svg/800px-Electoral_map.svg.png)

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