Shenandoah County GOP

Welcome to the battleground

Folks, if you didn’t believe it before, please know that we are officially a battleground state. Now how exactly does this differ from years past?

Well, for starters, expect the paid advertising (radio, tv, and direct mail) to be ramped up in a big way. Already both campaigns are spending about $300,000 A DAY on paid television advertising right now. And the Democrats are lavishing the state with attention:

Yesterday, with a Navy ship as a backdrop, Obama drew thousands to a rally in Newport News on the banks of the James River, his second large event in Virginia in a week. His running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), was scheduled to make appearances today in Roanoke and Henrico County in suburban Richmond but canceled because of a serious illness in his family.

There are now about 60 Democratic offices open across the state, including Senate candidate Mark R. Warner‘s. They are staffed by thousands of volunteers and about 200 paid workers.

“This is absolutely the largest, most comprehensive, most aggressive presidential campaign I have ever seen in Virginia,” Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee said.

And right now, we’re being outspent on the airwaves:

Obama’s efforts in Virginia are apparent on the airwaves.

From mid-June until last week, Obama spent about $9 million on TV ads in Virginia, compared with McCain’s $5 million.

Obama is now spending about $250,000 a day on local network TV in Virginia, compared with McCain’s $30,000, according to Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks ad buys.

The TV advertising imbalance is being partially offset by the Republican National Committee, which began a $33,000-a-day media buy in areas of Virginia outside the Washington market, Tracey said.

McCain spent heavily on local network TV in Northern Virginia earlier in the year, but he has pulled advertising from those stations and is bolstering his presence in Hampton Roads.

Fortunately help is on the way, with 12 new offices opening recently and paid staff increasing to fifty. Meanwhile, down in Southwest virginia, both campaign’s supporters are duking it out:

Roy Mabry, a businessman here in Russell County, is unfettered in his optimistic belief that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama can win in Southwest Virginia.

Says the Obama-button-wearing Mabry: “I haven’t seen any Republicans. I believe we done run them out of town.”

Not to be out-enthused by a Democrat, retiree Glenda Short of neighboring Dickenson County, who keeps a minimum of six signs in her yard touting Arizona Sen. John McCain for president, says Republicans in the mountainous region are giddy over the prospect of helping their candidate take the state.

“Everybody wants yard signs. A gentleman stopped by the other day and said he wanted one but couldn’t find any, and my husband said, ‘Here, take one from our yard.'”

Southwest Virginia is conservative country, a place where President Bush swept up 60 percent of the vote in 2004, compared with 54 percent statewide.

Folks, there’s an enthusiasim in the air and an interest in this election that hasn’t been seen in a Presidential election for some time. People KNOW that both campaigns want their votes and are listening to both sides. John McCain will ultimately be the one who seals the deal; we can push people and must be good advocates for him both to our friends and families and in letters to the editor, but it will be his values and beliefs that people will decide upon. For us, the mission is to drive those people out to the polls.

This is different for us. We’re not used, as a committee, to having to work extra hard to get our votes out. But things are different now. We are not just part of a sea of red; we are working against a sea of blue in Fairfax county. We must work to offset the big margins the Obama people are counting on up there to win.


Get out those yard signs. Make a few calls. Write a letter. Now is the time. We all have busy lives. The people in the Republican Committee of Shenandoah County give alot to this community. But to win this thing, we have to always keep in mind the task facing us. It won’t be easy. Some of us may have to leave our comfort zone. But we HAVE to do it.

The Obama people are working hard here in Shenandoah County. They are, to be honest, beating us. They’ve made over 3,000 calls this election. If every member of the Committee made just 50 calls, we could easily meet that goal and then some. This is new, this is different. But people WANT to be asked, people WANT to be engaged (at least those who aren’t misanthropes, and some misanthropes do vote, but don’t let them discourage you). When I went door to door, only one gentleman refused my questions, and did so rather politely. That’s his choice. But my choice is to go out there and keep trying. Every. Vote. Counts.

We have phone banks every Tuesday night in Mt. Jackson and Strasburg. Craig Orndorff can arrange door to door knocking at any time, and walking is planned for October 18th in Strasburg. Visit to see how you can help and where you can pick up signs, and call Craig Orndorff at (540) 436-3530 if you’re interested in helping in any way.

As we go out there, remember these words from John McCain’s speech at the RNC:

I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.


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