More Valley Voters are “Leaning Left” this Election + “Obama Rally News Roundup”

Renee -- October 29th, 2008

Only about a month ago, McCain had a 9-point lead in the Shenandoah Valley Region of Virginia. As of October 26, 2008, McCain’s lead here was only one point – McCain 47%, Obama 46%, according to SurveyUSA.

The close race in the Valley was underscored by Barack Obama’s visit to Harrisonburg yesterday, during which Obama noted he was the first Democratic presidential candidate to campaign in Harrisonburg since Stephen Douglas, who was Abraham Lincoln’s opponent, visited in 1860. Democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner also spoke at the event. The Obama Rally was announced only 3 days prior to the event, and occurred only one week before Election Day.

Barack Obama speaks at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with Mark Warner and Tim Kaine looking on

Barack Obama speaks at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with US Senator from VA Candidate Mark Warner and Current VA Governor Tim Kaine looking on

In addition, the Staunton News Leader newspaper recently endorsed Barack Obama when they had previously supported John McCain’s year-2000 White House bid.

Why are more people in our area planning to vote for the Democratic ticket as it gets closer to Election Day?

Democratic supporters attending the Obama Rally cited several issues as important to them, and how Barack Obama’s plans impact them. In Alex Sirney’s YouTube video, some nursing students mentioned Health Care and College Costs as two of their “top issues” in this election. In the interviews I conducted (videos coming soon), each respondent gave a different answer:

Kevin, a JMU freshmen from Loudoun County, VA, with a brother and father in the military, favors Obama’s plan for Iraq, and believes Obama “has the skills to get us out of the problems the current president has put us in”. The cost of college is also an important issue to him.

Kate from Chesapeake, VA and Jen from New York, both JMU students studying to be teachers, like Obama’s plans for Education and Health Care. Kate said, “I like the fact that he wants to raise teacher’s salaries, because especially in Virginia, that’s a big problem.”

A young boy named Connor said he supports Obama “because of the environment.”

Three ladies in line, who said they were there to represent “the 50 to 60 [year old] crowd”, said they support Barack Obama because of his intelligence and demeanor and ability to lead our country. Joan was concerned about the potential of several Supreme Court judges being nominated by the next president. Sandy from Harrisonburg said that when traveling outside the United States, it was easy to see that “The US’s image is marred in the world,” and she believes “we need a leader that can prove to the world that we’re not just talk.” Kim from Winston-Salem (who grew up in Harrisonburg and traveled here to be a part of the Obama rally) added, “Yes, most Americans are interested in and accepting of other cultures.” Joan, who was also from Harrisonburg, was impressed by the “thoughtfulness and the breadth of knowledge Barack Obama has” and when asked why America seemed to be favoring Barack Obama in this election, she replied “We’ve wised up!” The group theorized that an additional reason the Shenandoah Valley was supporting the Democratic ticket more than usual was the increase in racial diversity in local communities in recent years.

What issues are most important to you in this election? Take our HBurgNews Poll, and explain why you think support for the Democratic ticket is growing in our region by commenting below!

Select the three issues that are most important to you in this election Please select only 3! (embedded poll wasn’t working, so this is an external link)

“News Roundup” – coverage of Barack Obama Rally yesterday




Thanks to finnegan and Josh for linking to most of these articles. I know I didn’t get them all, so if you see any other interesting articles about the event, please link in the comments! (And see comments in previous post for more)

15 Responses to “More Valley Voters are “Leaning Left” this Election + “Obama Rally News Roundup””

  1. Dan Easley says:

    Audio of Obama, Kaine, and Warner’s speeches available at

  2. Renee says:

    Found this local blog coverage of it from the Republican side:

  3. Deb SF says:

    Great one-stop shopping for links, and thanks for the original reporting!

  4. David Miller says:

    Anyone else notice how “similar” the AP and Fox stories are?

  5. Renee says:

    Deb, thanks for the compliment!

    David, I hadn’t noticed that, but if you look closely, they did put “AP” as the author (it’s almost invisible)! The thing I did notice was the title, it seemed an odd way to represent the story. I know a lot of news organizations use the AP to get stories, but I thought they usually summarize it in some way. Guess no one at Fox wanted to spend the time to actually report on Obama coming here! I think it’s kind of sneaky to re-title it but leave the text as-is – the AP author definitely didn’t write it that way.

    Good eye!

  6. finnegan says:

    That’s the way AP works. If you subscribe (pay the AP fee) you can pick and choose, change headlines, and include or omit bylines (author names).

  7. Renee says:

    Ah, I see. Thanks Brent.

  8. Renee says:

    I watched the Obama TV ad tonight, I thought it was good.

  9. Josh says:

    I totally forgot about the 30min ad. It’s available online here:

  10. Renee says:

    It looks like 6 people have taken the poll, and the top issues so far are:
    -The Economy & Taxes
    -Foreign Relations/Foreign Policy
    -Energy & Environment

    If you haven’t taken the poll yet (linked in the post text), then join in now and let us know which issues are important to you! (And sorry about the flashing ads on the results page. If you have epilepsy or get migraines you might want to avoid that!)

  11. Renee says:

    Now 10 people have taken the poll, and Health Care/Health Insurance has edged out Foreign Policy to be in the top 3.

  12. Emmy says:

    Obama’s grandmother died :(

  13. Renee says:

    Emmy, I heard about that earlier tonight. It is especially sad news since she raised Barack and he is winning this election against all odds.

  14. Del says:

    So much for all the internet wingnuts who said she wasn’t really dying.

  15. Del says:

    And I just read the first allegation that she was killed to keep her from telling the truth about Obama being born in Kenya.

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