Number crunching


So, there’s no question that people have begun freaking out. I was talking to my dad on the phone the other day and when I asked him how he was doing, he answered my question by saying simply, “I’m worried about Obama, Nell.” I tried to cheer him up by saying that there’s still time—that there are still debates to be debated, and that the Internet is still Obama country. I tried to boost his spirits with a forward I had received of a photograph of Obama looking calm, cool and confident, with text above him that says, in all caps, “EVERYONE NEEDS TO CHILL THE FUCK OUT…” and then, in all caps below him, “I GOT THIS.” But the more I tried to convince my father, the more pathetic and naïve I sounded to myself. And then I went to Pollster.

For those unfamiliar, Pollster is a website for the OCD politicos, for the numbers people, the people with a penchant for primary colors. The website obsessively takes the temperature of the voting public and posts in which political direction the country is leaning from day to day. As everyone probably knows by now, one brief glance at Pollster—even by an untrained eye—reveals that the country is teetering on that line between red and blue, which is obviously dismaying given the wave Obama had been riding so well until so recently.
Nonetheless, while it effectively muzzled the Pollyanna in me, that Pollyanna deserved to be muzzled: She wasn’t living in the real world. Pollster—while it has faults and glitches and holes like all polling does—lives in the real world. And it’s in the real world that this election is going to be won or lost. And in order to know where the battles lie, polls need to be monitored. Obsessively.