While I haven’t been watching the national presidential polls closely I have been keeping an eye them for individual states. As the cycle rolled on I’ve seen states that have a long history of voting republican beginning to move towards the Democrats. It’s a remarkable feeling given where we were during previous elections.

Twice I’ve been surprised and upset by the outcomes. In 2000 a friend and I walked to our polling location in Seattle with a Gore victory in hand following the declaration of Florida as his. All hell had broken loose by the time we returned to our homes. In 2004 I finished a day of working in the 43rd LD for the Washington Democratic Party feeling that my candidate would keep the bush legacy mercifully short. Alas by 8PM it was apparent the unthinkable had happened again, bush was elected. Both evenings were painful, 2004 by far being the worse.

I don’t want to revisit the disappointment and disbelief of those nights again. So it is with trepidation that I look over the map from Pollster.com that shows Virginia for Obama, Ohio leaning to Obama and Georgia and North Carolina in play. Georgia and North Carolina are shown in play, that’s amazing. I didn’t think I would ever see those two states in play in a presidential election. Anxiety aside my favorite is that Arizona’s support of it’s favorite son has softened to leaning republican. Could you imagine the total repudiation of both McCain and bush if Arizona went to Obama? Be still my heart.

Someone I know reminds me he is superstitious and so won’t allow himself to believe that Obama has this locked up, but I’ll bet he has small moments of joy. Those moments when a smile comes over your face despite your best efforts and hope is more than a placard carried to a rally. Me, I’m cautiously optimistic remembering the last two election nights, but smiling just the same.

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"Smiling Just the Same" by was published on October 29th, 2008 and is listed in Election 08.

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