“Definitely Obama,” “McCain, of course,” “still undecided” or “none of your business” are only some of the responses from the people of Virginia as it relates to whom they’re supporting at the polls today.
Many are keeping a close eye on what was once a reliable red state as now Virginia seems to be leaning in the opposite direction. With 39 independent cities and 13 electoral votes, win or lose, the results from the Old Dominion will show a significant impact on both presidential camps.
Patricia Farrar, a resident of Woodbridge, Va., has been voting at the Enterprise Elementary School on Lindendale Road in Dale City since 1988. She was at the polls since 5 a.m. and stood in line for 55 minutes. As she wiped away the tears that ran down her cheeks she said, “I have never seen such a great turnout in my entire history of voting. There are people young and old and so many different ethnicities; this is truly historic.” ?[run-on sentences]
Farrar believes that Virginia should no longer be called a red state as there has been a definite change in color. However, Beaue Lovdehl begs to differ. With his parents’ consent, Lovdehl of Falls Church, Va., took time off from school today to campaign in Alexandria. “It’s a clear choice,” the 15-year-old said. “Virginia will not choose a man that has no great achievements and no executive experience.”
Jared Seheinuk, 20, originally from New Orleans, attends Boston College, but took the semester off to campaign in Virginia. “Due to the demographic change, Northern Virginia is moving towards the left, but Southern Virginia is and will always be a red state,” Seheinuk said.
Nancy Dunne of Arlington said, “I believe Virginia is definitely blue-ish right now.”
“The people are disgusted and tired of Bush, we want change and I’m a part of that change,” said Dunne, who was once a journalist for Financial Times of London.
It was a family affair for Asa Coleman, who drove to Alexandria from Norfolk Va., to join her parents at the polls. “Times have changed and so has Virginia,” Coleman said. “We believe and embrace that change.”
The state’s role as a conservative bastion for many decades might come to an end as the race is close and crucial. Huge signs from both parties lace the streets from Alexandria to Richmond. Across Virginia, excitement is in the air, the world is watching and the residents seem to love the attention.
Jeff Morrow, 28, a law student from Georgetown University has lived in Arlington, Va., for six years. “Obama has made a significant impact on the once red state,” Morrow said. “I have never seen so many people at a Democratic rally in Virginia as I did in Manassas last night.”
According to figures released by the State Board of Elections, Virginia’s electoral roll shows more than 5 million registered. Although many have cast absentee ballots, throughout Virginia, there have been record-breaking turnouts, swamped voting venues and long lines.
The campaign from both parties has been intense and fierce with the swing states as key targets. Historically, whoever wins Virginia, wins the presidential election. Will this longtime red state become a blue state for the first time since 1964? Tonight’s results will represent the true voice of Virginia.