All day Saturday, I canvassed and phone banked for Obama in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Going door to door in a suburban and heavily Republican area, half of the voters I spoke with were for Obama. Henry George, as Peter has observed, would understand why.
The neighborhood I worked in was filled with relatively new homes, often inhabited by people priced out of the real estate market in New Jersey. Foreclosures have been a problem for some of the residents. For the rest the crashing real estate market, and the price of gas in a region where you need a car to get anywhere, means a real drop in prosperity. Thus does the drive for home ownership as a way of making money boomerang on homeowners. All in all, it makes me glad that I'm a renter.
Half the voters I talked to yesterday, in heavily Republican turf, were backing Obama. If Obama is that strong in a GOP area, he is doing well.
The Obama operation I worked with was well-organized, confident and spirited. The woman in charge of the storefront I worked from, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, is a former Merill Lynch vp who lost her job. She is now putting her organizational talents to good use for Obama.
While there is some concern that McCain's withdrawal from Michigan will enable him to throw more at Pennsylvania, the people I spoke with yesterday were confident and ready for him.
According to a campaign staffer who I spoke with, Obama is up by 12% in the Lehigh Vally area, which includes Allentown. If that holds in November, Obama will carry the region by much more than Kerry did in 2004.
Even better news is the statewide poll that they cite, which has Obama up by 15% in Pennsylvania overall. If these numbers are accurate, Election Day in Pennsylvania will bring good news for Obama.