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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rally scenes: Some still worried



UnionworkerSome like rally-goer Judy Willoughby, a campaign volunteer on loan to the AFL-CIO, say they're cautiously optimistic about election day. She works to win over North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida union workers, and she still finds some hardcore Democratic union voters who refuse to vote for Obama because he's African-American. "I hate to say it," she said. "But I've walked into buildings wearing my Obama shirt and have been told flat out by people in the Carolinas that 'I'm not voting for a black man.' "
Steve Schale, Obama's Florida campaign director, said he also is cautiously optimistic. The campaign chose Jacksonville as its last Florida stop, in part because it had already hit all the other Florida media markets last week, and also to cut into Sen. McCain's margins in North Florida.

"If we do well here, even if doing well is cutting down the Republican margins, it certainly helps us statewide." The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial arena is also the place where Sen. John McCain famously declared the "fundamentals of the economy are strong," the same day the stock market tanked and the deal to save Wall Street fell apart.

Dance The crowd started dancing to "Hold On, I'm Comin' " by Sam and Dave.Roslyn_2

Roslyn Burrough, pictured at right, got decked out in her best Obama gear before singing the national anthem.

When CFO Alex Sink said: "All the people who already voted, hold up your hands and shout," nearly the entire arena held hands up and yelled. CFO Sink added later to the Buzz that she knows what Obama is facing in North Florida. "He doesn't need to carry North Florida, but he has to get between 35 and 45 percent," sheCfo said, saying that's what her campaign shot for when she was running for chief financial officer. But she says she thinks he'll get it, since this election "is about pocket-book issues, at this stage."


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:44pm]


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