Down to the wire at McCain HQ

  • Matthew Price
  • 4 Nov 08, 06:14 PM GMT

The phone-bank at McCain HQ in Phoenix is filling up, with volunteers sitting at desks, calling potential voters.

They're ringing to see if McCain supporters have already voted and if not to get them to the polling stations. They're also ringing other voters to try to persuade them to switch sides at this last minute.

On the walls are life size pictures of John McCain, and on the front desk a roll of "Joe" stickers, which have been worn on T-shirts at McCain rallies across this country in recent days.

There's a sense in the room that every little vote counts, and that every minute spent trying to shore up those votes could be crucial. On the door is a quote from Orson Swindle, a life-long friend of John McCain's and a fellow POW in Vietnam.

One of the tortures Mr Swindle endured was sleep deprivation. On one occasion he was kept awake for 10 days. The quote reminds the party workers that however tired they may be, it's nothing in comparison to that.

I remarked to one woman that she must be exhausted. "Not at all," she replied brightly, and on message.

Update, 21:10GMT:

The polling station where John McCain cast his vote this morning was quiet at lunchtime. Perhaps 10 people arrived while I was there, chatting to one local republican party worker.

He worked on George W Bush's campaign four years ago. He said he expected more people to turn out later in the day, as offices close and the workday comes to an end.

Voters in Arizona have been told that if they reach the end of the voting queue by seven pm local time, they will be allowed to vote, however long that queue is. Close of ballots may be delayed somewhat if there's a late surge in voting.

The junior republican official also told me he'd be coming to John McCain's evening party here at the lush and extravagant Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. "I'll be there for, victory speech I suppose. Or maybe the concession speech."


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  • 1. At 7:38pm on 04 Nov 2008, duhbuh wrote:

    I remarked to one woman that she must be exhausted. "Not at all," she replied brightly, and on message.

    Or maybe she was just telling you the truth.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 8:08pm on 04 Nov 2008, U7161659 wrote:

    "I remarked to one woman that she must be exhausted. "Not at all," she replied brightly, and on message"

    Many of us are, though. Can't wait for it to be over.

    Not wanting to be a party pooper, but having lived through Teflon Tony's reign has made me very cynical about messianic politica figures.

    And let's spare a though for the BBC bloggers, valiantly adding to the media noise by filing story after story on the election, well knowing that soon they, too, will go the way of the losing candidate and be forgotten.

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  • 3. At 8:11pm on 04 Nov 2008, cpeterka wrote:

    They say that the new President will be hated by 50% of the Electorate, but that's not so bad, 'cause the Old President is hated by 80% of the population of the US of A, and probably by 90% of the rest of the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 8:22pm on 04 Nov 2008, DesktopCynic wrote:

    I got a letter yesterday from the McCain campaign thanking me for my past financial support and saying that they need "Americans like me..."

    I'm not American (permanent resident - I can't vote) and I've NEVER supported them, financially or otherwise. Makes me wonder where they get their information from? If this is an example of their organisational skills - no wonder they're losing so far......

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  • 5. At 8:56pm on 04 Nov 2008, bentpolitician wrote:

    Or if this fails they can ask the Mccain IT Guru Mike Connell to help them out


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  • 6. At 9:48pm on 04 Nov 2008, AndyW35 wrote:

    Man from Milan, in the old days they used to say

    "If you don't like the program then switch channels".

    Not sure what the Internet equivalent is, open a new URL?

    Nobody is forcing you to read this. You seem like a busybody though who likes to complain in the manner of Victor Meldrew.

    I don't believe it.

    Actually I do.



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  • 7. At 11:42pm on 04 Nov 2008, amadkiwi0 wrote:

    Why cant they share power? Zimbabwe does it. Oh, right...

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  • 8. At 00:27am on 05 Nov 2008, U7161659 wrote:


    I could say the same to you, i.e., if you don't like my comments, don't read them.

    Complain about this comment

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