To all our volunteers, members, and well-wishers, please allow us to once again thank you for the time, effort, and passion that you brought to this election. It truly warmed my heart to see Drexel so engaged and informed about this historic election. To TJ, Emily, Diana, Renato, and everyone else from the campaign, thank you. You guys did an unbelievable job and really made a difference. We showed a lot of skeptics that Drexel isn't a hotbed of apathy, but rather host to a vibrant political community, composed of a broader and more diverse array of majors and students than most other colleges.
Now that we're coming down from the excitement and recovering from the exhaustion, I thought you would want to know exactly what we did. As many of you already know, we were responsible for managing turnout operations in 10 of the 17 divisions of the 24th ward, and to that end you all did an amazing job. There were hundreds of volunteers, thousands of volunteer shifts, and very satisfying results. In 2004, 736 people voted in the 10th division of the 24th ward, which encompasses all of the dorms. That was 51% of registered voters. This year, there were 2054 voters, representing nearly 75% turnout, and 77% of those voters voted for now President-Elect(!) Obama. Thanks to all of your work registering students and getting them to the polls, we tripled turnout over 2004, and did what a lot of people said wouldn't happen.
Also, if any of you were curious about why we all worked so hard, or why Drexel's vote was so important, let me throw some amazing numbers at you. Barack Obama won the 10th division of the 24th ward with over 1000 votes more than John McCain received. That margin, representing just several city blocks (Market st to Powelton, and 32nd street to 35th street) was larger than the margin of victory in 9 of PA's 67 counties that John McCain won.
As Joe Biden would say, let me say that again; The dormitories, some of the fraternaties/sororities, and a few houses at Drexel netted Obama more votes than John McCain netted in each of 9 other counties that McCain won (Mercer, Greene, Fayette, Clinton, Forest, Cameron, Sullivan, Wyoming, and Pike counties). Those 9 counties (colored in red, at left) cover an average of 579 square miles each and are home to an average of 50,000 people each, and we provided Obama with a bigger lead in 24-10 than McCain got from each of those 9 rural counties, and more than Mercer, Greene, Fayette, Clinton, and Forest counties combined. This doesn't even include all the students that voted anywhere other than at Van R, which is most of the upper-classmen. Those numbers were consistently high throughout Powelton Village, Mantua, and the entire 24th ward.
Finally, though, a word about what's ahead. "Yes We Did" was our election night rallying cry, but we haven't done anything yet but win an election. The real work begins in January as President Obama (I just like typing that!) will need our help to make college more affordable, pass healthcare reforms, stem global warming with a carbon-cap-and-trade bill, invigorate our renewable energy industries, responsibly end the war in Iraq, and shepard our economy through troubled times. Obviously this won't all happen at once and right away, but it might not happen at all if you guys don't stay involved. There are concrete things we can do here to help pass President Obama's agenda, and if we all work half as hard on them as we did on this election, then we'll be in good shape.
I am so proud of you guys, and so excited that you all got to play an important role in such a historic election and such an amazing campaign. You lucky freshmen will be around in 2012, and you'll all be battle tested experts by then. I don't envy the Republican that will be sent to face off with Pres. Obama and the Drexel Democrats' machine. I hope that all of you volunteers will post your election day stories and experiences on the Drexel Dems website. If you haven't signed up yet, it takes 30 seconds, and I'm eager to hear all your stories. I know that we all had some amazing experiences on election day and I'd love to hear yours. Just post a blog entry, and I'll compile them all in one place.
Stay tuned, and I'll be posting pictures and videos over the next few days.