I am a true election geek. While most of you have probably been feeling election fatigue, I am sprinting toward the finish line. My interest and excitement has increased as the days go on. Most days, you'll find me with my iPod on, listening to podcast after podcast of election analysis. I can't get enough of On the Media, or Fresh Air's campaign interviews, or the Slate Gabfest. Yesterday, my fun activity for the day was to analyze 85,000 campaign contributors to see what corporations were donating to a cause that upsets me greatly. As someone who has spent a lot of my life thinking about politics, election day is the culmination of watching and participating in months and months of policy discussion, campaign strategy, and grassroots activism.
"What do you actually do on election day?" a friend recently asked in an email. I was balking at the idea of planning something on Tuesday. For me, election day is a ritual of being by myself, watching election returns, and waiting for results.
I answered her, "I sit at home, watch tv, click between my gazillion secretary of state / CNN / returns sites / blogs. I was invited to election parties, but I don't do that. I'd rather stay home and not talk to anyone ... It's better than Disneyland."
While there is a part of me that desperately wants certain candidates to win, and certain propositions to lose, and certain cynicisms that I have about the electorate to be put to bed, much of my election day fun is academic. How are the vote turnouts? How did the campaigns get out the vote? What new ingenious campaign methods are taking place? What's the mood like in the country? I click through photo montages and tear up at overview videos. I make spreadsheets, and I watch electoral maps.