Candidates Fire-up Electorate for Early Voting - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain along with their surrogates are hitting the swing states at full force this week and they are placing particular emphasis on Florida where early voting begins today. Obama spoke to voters in Tampa this morning, where the Tampa Tribune just endorsed Sen. John McCain last Saturday.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, Michelle Obama will tackle Pensacola and Gainesville, Florida. Their goal is to stimulate voters to take advantage of early voting, and ride the momentum from Obama’s peaked popularity.

Obama is leading in all the major polls this week. A nationwide Gallup Poll, which tracked potential voters from Oct. 16-18, placed him 10 points ahead of McCain after the third and final presidential debate. In addition, the Obama camp yesterday announced that September fundraising totals amounted to $150 million, well above the already record breaking amount of $66 million from his August fundraising. Obama’s campaign has now raised more than $600 million, almost equaling what all the candidates from both major parties collected in private donations in 2004, reports the New York Times.

Also on Sunday, Gen. Colin Powell, former secretary of state to President George W. Bush, gave Obama a ringing endorsement despite his 25-year friendship with McCain, a fellow Republican.

Along with Florida, early voting will begin today in Colorado, Texas, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, and North Dakota, reports the Pew Center. Nationwide, about a third of the electorate is expected to vote early this year, up from 22% in 2004 and 16% in 2000, according to the Associated Press. In Florida, Republicans hold an edge, while in Indiana, absentee voting has been split among Republican and Democratic areas, reports the AP. In Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio, Democrats – or at least those living in heavily Democratic areas – are requesting and submitting ballots in large numbers.

Meanwhile President Bill Clinton appeared in Elko and Reno, Nevada, Monday morning and will travel to Kirkwood, Missouri. In 2004, most Nevada voters cast a ballot for President Bush, but now only 25% say he is doing a good or excellent job, according to Rasmussen Reports. Obama and his aides appear so confident of his prospects that apart from a brief stop in Madison, Wis., next Thursday, Obama currently has no plans during the next 10 days to return to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire or any other state that voted for John Kerry in 2004, reports AP.

The McCain-Palin ticket doesn’t seem to be focusing on Florida this week. They have their sights set on Colorado, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Nevada. This Monday alone, McCain’s running mate Gov. Sarah Palin will address Colorado Springs, Loveland, and Grand Junction, Colorado.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.