Now? Not so much.
I still have three signs to put out (yes, I'm one of those). Obama was the first one up, followed by Chafin (a woman running for Supreme Court) and Wheeler (the former sheriff who, after an eight-year run, sat out a term, per county regulations, and is running again). Who's left? Jeffry Pritt, running for House of Delegates; Nick Rahall, who will most certainly be re-elected to Congress, and … are you ready? … I have a Byrd for Senate sign, which I'm not going to put too close to the road.
Yesterday as I traveled in southern WV and southwest VA I saw lots of Romney signs, a few Obama-Biden placards, one Maloney for Governor and none for Manchin (D-Senate) or Tomblin (D-Governor). I think Republicans will vote for Manchin and Tomblin, but don't want to advertise the fact. I think Democrats will vote for them, too, in fewer numbers than previous elections, and I know the Dems don't want to do much to promote them. They're blue-dog Democrats – far too moderate for my taste, or for that of most Democrats I know.
I'm curious as to what I'll see in swing-state Ohio today. As Ohio (Virginia/Florida/Iowa/Colorado) goes, so goes the Presidency. My cousins are all Republicans. If challenged, I plan to laughingly announce I'm the token Democrat, representing their Uncle John (my dad) and our grandfather Benjamin Harrison Young, who posted a photograph of FDR on the outside of the rude little shack in which our parents all grew up. (Ironically, Benjamin Harrison was a Republican. My grandfather – who died before I was born – must have been something of a rebel in his time.)
Four years ago signs were plentiful, enthusiasm was high, opinions were loud and conversations were heated. This year? Not so much. West Virginians have voted seven times since the 2008 presidential elections; we're about voted out. It's been difficult to get folks excited.
Mr. Wheeler stopped by the other day to make sure he had my vote. During our conversation he said something that brought back a little of that hopey-changey feeling, and made me think people will still go to the polls. What were the words that left such a big impression?