Dixville Notch Makes Global Blogosphere History

The world was abuzz on the eve of the historic November 4 election when news headlines revealed that Senator Barack Obama had already won by a landslide victory. Non-American bloggers from all corners of the globe got to typing their thoughts away early this morning, way before polling stations even opened in the US, all inspired by an isolated village several thousand miles away in New Hampshire.

In the UK, England for Obama rejoiced at the news that Obama emerged victorious in the first election returns of the 2008 presidential race, winning 15 of 21 votes cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

And that was a full voter turnout! Woo-hoo!

Hang on – shouldn’t John McCain be the winner in a place called Dicksville[sic]?

Seriously, though: this is the first time that Dixville Notch – which is always the first town to announce its results – has voted for the Democratic candidate since 1968.

People in Dixville Notch, which has a population of 75, voted just before midnight Tuesday (Nov 4). The last Democrat residents there picked was Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968. (Source: CNN)

After having read Italian blogs that covered the Dixville Notch results, bloggers seemed to delight that this might be a prediction of what’s to come in the next few hours. One blogger, ultimenotizie, is looking forward to the results and has promised to stay up late to wait for the results at home in Italy. Calling the Dixville Notch result “symbolic”, ultimenotizie noted that Obama also won in another New Hampshire village called Hart’s Location.

“Anche a Hart’s Location, l’altro villaggio del New Hampshire dove si vota a mezzanotte, ha vinto il senatore nero per 17 voti a 10.”

“… in Hart’s Location, another village in New Hampshire where voting was at midnight, the black senator won by 17 votes to 10.”

However, the Italian warned still that even though Obama had the lead in polls for months, the numbers could be deceiving if the “Bradley effect” comes into play. The Bradley effect is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American who ran for California governor in 1982. Polls then showed him leading by a wide margin, and the Democrat thought it would be an early election night. But it turned out Bradley and the polls were wrong. He lost to Republican George Deukmejian.

“In testa ai sondaggi da mesi, Obama aspetta l’esito sereno e ha detto alla Cbs di non credere al cosiddetto “effetto Bradley”, ovvero alla teoria secondo cui gli elettori dicono ai sondaggisti che votano per un afro-americano come lui, ma poi non lo fanno nella segretezza dell’urna. Per contro, da parte repubblicana ammoniscono di non compiere lo stesso errore delle ultime elezioni, affidandosi a exit poll regolarmente smentiti, ma di aspettare i dati ufficiali.”

“Ahead of the polls for months, Obama expects the outcome to be calm. He’s even told voters not to believe the so-called Bradley effect, or the theory that polling was wrong because voters who said they’ll vote for him actually won’t. In contract, the Republican (McCain) warned voters not to make the same mistake and by not taking polls seriously.”

Christian Rocca joins the many Italians who believe that the game is now over for McCain.

“… ma se Obama dovesse prevalere in Indiana sarebbe il primo segno di una vittoria a valanga per il democratico. All’una di notte italiana, le sette sulla costa est d’America, chiudono le urne in Florida e in Virginia. In questi due stati vinti da Bush nel 2004 si comincerà a delineare il profilo del prossimo presidente.

“Ma nel momento in cui uno dei due verrà messo nella colonna di Obama, per McCain la partita sarà finita, non ancora aritmeticamente, ma di fatto.”

“… if Obama were to prevail in Indiana that would be the first sign of a snowball victory for the Democrats. At 1am in Italy on Wednesday and 7pm on the East Coast of the US, polls close in Florida and Virginia. In these two states won by Bush in 2004 we will have an outline of who the new president might be.

“I think for McCain the game is over, not in theory but more as a matter of fact.”

Voters in Dixville Notch may have voted early in the US, but according to Lars Von Torne Berlin, Germany says Americans there were ways ahead of them.

“Berlin hatte als erstes gewählt: Schon Stunden, bevor am Dienstagabend in der deutschen Hauptstadt zahlreicher Partys zur US-Präsidentschaftswahl begannen, meldete die US-Botschaft, dass die Wahl in Berlin bereits gelaufen war.”

“Berlin was first, even hours before (Dixville Notch) when on Tuesday evening in the German capital the US Embassy reported that absentee voting was already completed.”

Von Torne said that all over Berlin, Obama had much support.

“Zumindest, was die Stimmung unter den Berlinern anging, die sich am Abend bei einem Dutzend größerer und zahllosen kleinen Wahlbeobachtungspartys versammelten.”

“At least, when it comes to Berliners the mood is joyous. We are confident of Obama’s victory.”

Speaking about a US election party hosted in the city and attended by more than 1,000 Berliners, Von Torne said that

“almost every guest assumed Obama would win the race”.

“Fast jeder der Gäste ging davon aus, dass Barack Obama das Rennen machen würde.”

The party was held in the offices of Telekom and Bertelsmann. Amongst the attendees were US Embassy officials and other diplomats.

Major celebratory events for whoever wins the election are reportedly already scheduled to be held in Berlin within the next few days.

“Fast alle meldeten schon vor Tagen: ausgebucht. Wesentlich mehr Anmeldungen als Plätze verzeichneten auch die Veranstalter der größten Pro-Obama-Party der Stadt, die Democrats Abroad. Die Auslandsorganisation der US-Demokraten wollte bis Sonnenaufgang am Mittwochfrüh im Babylon-Kino in Mitte feiern – inklusive „Sunrise“-Drinks, eine Anspielung auf das Wahlkampfsymbol Obamas, eine aufgehende Sonne.”

“Nearly all these events are fully booked. The largest events and the most tickets being sold are for the pro-Obama parties. The International Organization of American Democrats wanted a “Rising Sun” event on Wednesday morning at the Babylon Cinema. The event will feature “sunrise” drinks, a reference to Obama’s campaign symbol.”

Brazilian Marcelo Donati asked who will be the new “chairman of the world” in his blog Abrigo Na Net.

“Façam suas apostas. Obama está praticamente eleito, mas como a eleição americana é confusa e bagunçada, nunca se pode afirmar nada… Nós aqui, vamos vivendo, absorvendo o resto da crise mundial…”

“Place your bets. Obama is virtually elected, but as the American election is confusing … you can never say anything … We here, we live by absorbing the rest of the world’s crisis.”

Another Brazilian, cursoblogcorp took it to another level. He has already declared Obama the victor of the election.

He wrote:

“O candidato democrata Barack Obama foi eleito o mais novo presidente dos Estados Unidos, com 68% de aprovação da população norte-americana. Ele é o primeiro negro a chegar à Presidência. Além desse marco, o candidato foi audacioso ao dispensar o financiamento público de campanha, optando apenas pelas contribuições de seus apoiadores, feitas através de seu blog. Com isso, conseguiu mais de US$ 660 milhões.”

“The Democrat candidate Barack Obama was elected as the new president of the United States, with 68 per cent approval of the US population. He is the first black man to reach presidency. In addition to this milestone, the candidate was daring to exempt public financing of his campaign, choosing only to use contributions made by supporters and bloggers. With this, he managed to raise over $660 million.”

Perhaps he's psychic? Perhaps.


  • Tracy

    I just wanted to say to all of you how much I share your excitement. I am a United States citizen and I voted this morning before work. I am excited to get President Bush out of the White House as are many Americans. Many of us have never agreed with him and have become ashamed of our government. My hope is for a brighter future and better relationship with the rest of the world.
    Our government right now does not reflect the feelings of the American people. We will be partying tonite.

  • Thanks for reading Tracy! I’m a US citizen too and agree with you!

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