Skip to main content

First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself and my voting status (partly in my bio).

I was born in England but moved to Florida when I was 5 (I'm 25 now), so I have been in the Sunshine State for a while. However, it is only recently (in May) that my family and I (4 of us plus 1 that will be too late for 2012) became citizens of the United States (a moniker I hold with pride!).

I was a saddened that in 2008 I could not vote for Obama, but I get to rectify this in 2012 (and I suspect that a lot of the new US citizens in Florida mentioned below feel the same way)! So join me below the orange deformed football...

The Numbers: The latest numbers on early voting in Florida are showing a surge in Democratic turnout that is slowly cutting into the Republican lead (even though their voters are the supposedly the "early birds")!

This alone is great news, but as I was reading, I was contemplating yet ANOTHER reason why things may be looking great in Florida: new voters and in particular their political leanings!

Swearing in day: As I previously mentioned, I, along with my family, are now US citizens. I was "sworn in" in Orlando on a Friday at 9am with 96 other people in a ceremony. As is typical on these Fridays, there were two later ceremonies to be held later that day (so just under 300 people became citizens on that day alone).

The Ceremony: The ceremony included things like the mass reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, a brief history of the America, mass singing of the national anthem (and other patriotic songs), etc. They also acknowledged all of the nationalities of everyone in the room (which was composed of many South Americans/Asians/Europeans and a decent number of people of African decent, such as myself). However, where it got really interesting was when a recorded video of President Obama congratulating us on becoming citizens popped up on the screen.

The Obama Bump: The minute that happened, the entire room burst into applause/cheers. At first, I was surprised that in an election year, so many people in this room were publicly and enthusiastically Obama supporters (I'm not sure why I felt this way). I looked all around and all I could see was elation and smiles on people's faces (no enthusiasm gap here!). At the same time, I couldn't help but suddenly notice the lack of Caucasian ethnicities, at which point I remembered the general lack of GOP support in ethnic communities (info from Kossack community :)).

Voter Registration: Immediately after the ceremony, there were people waiting for us new citizens with voter registration forms! I registered for voting (as an independent, but I intend to switch to Democrat since Florida is a closed primary state) and additionally I could overhear other people deciding how to register, and every single one registered as a Democrat. Now, obviously this was a small sample, and it was only my personal experience. However, the Obama love was palpable.

Here's The Math: As my dad and I drove home, we were discussing how all this could effect our swing state of Florida. I'd easily wager ($10,000?) that no less than 75% of that room (full of new citizens) was pro-Obama. If that held true for the other ceremonies, then that could potentially mean 225 new Obama voters VS. 75 new Republican voters for one day in one city (out of 5 Floridrian cities that have USCIS offices certified to swear people in). There have been 22 Fridays between that day and Oct. 9 (voter registration deadline in Florida), which would now give you approximately 24,750 new Obama voters VS. 8,250 new Republican voters, again assuming the same margins/amounts hold (all this over a 22 week period).

Is this unscientific of me? You betchya! However...

More Evidence:  Beyond the numbers above, what this experience illustrated to me was the growing disparity between GOP supporters and the demographics of America, which is (are?) become less and less Caucasian (which is the only ethnicity that Republicans carry these days VS Democrat's more all inclusive appeal). Also, let us not forget the overwhelming support that Obama has in foreign countries (even foreign countries with very small percentages of non-white people like Iceland favor Obama, so it's not really a matter of being Caucasian or not). As was true in 2008, Obama is still a favorite overseas. So should it really be THAT be surprising that people being sworn in as American citizens, who are obviously of foreign origin (and thus come from cultures more supportive of the president), support Obama by an overwhelming majority in these ceremonies? I think not!

My prediction: I predict here and now that the more new citizens America gets (whether Hispanic, African, Asian, Caucasian, etc... foreigners in general), the more the demographics of the American population will favor Democrats and (much more importantly) progressive ideas like universal healthcare, low cost secondary education, widely available clean/renewable energy, and a fair tax system that doesn't burden the middle class and working poor and puts more burden where it belongs: on the have-mores!

Will us brand new, left-leaning citizens help push Obama over the edge here in the Sunshine State? I think the possibility is there, but I cannot be 100% sure of this of course.

What I can tell you with 100% certainty is that my entire family (the four of us that became citizens this year), will be contributing to the efforts of delivering Orange/Osceola county (and thus the swing state of Florida) to the Democratic ticket this year! So, consider these 4 votes locked up for President Obama!

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Great observation... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saxoman1, suesue, Supavash, GAS, Orlaine

    And I like the math!

    •  Tell me about it! A 3-1 advantage for Obama! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suesue

      Although my analysis is unscientific, it is relatively conservative with regard to the 25% I automatically give to republicans amoung foreigners.

      UNINSTALLING MITT ROMNEY..... █████████▒▒▒▒ 69%

      by saxoman1 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:03:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  one more (6+ / 0-)

    My wife also finally decided to become a citizen so she could vote in this election.  We both volunteered in 2008 for Obama, but she couldn't vote that time around.  I dropped off both of our absentee ballots in person last week (I don't trust the mail or our supervisor of elections).

    •  Congratulations on your wife becoming a citizen! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suesue, Supavash

      Every bit will help come Nov. 6! Thank you for all the work that you two do.

      I donated to Obama in 2008 to show my support (since I also couldn't vote). So did some of my family members in England!

      This year, I participated in a "Jazz for Obama" fundraiser in Tallahassee, FL.

      Oh, and of course, your wife (and I) get to vote this year!

      UNINSTALLING MITT ROMNEY..... █████████▒▒▒▒ 69%

      by saxoman1 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:07:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats to you all! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saxoman1, PeteZerria, suesue, Supavash, GAS, Sue B

    My great grandfather came here from Germany through Ellis Island in 1917.

    {{{{Daddy Dick, I miss you!!!}}}}

    He was absolutely the most darling man you'd ever want to meet. He used to tell us all the time about his swearing in ceremony and how proud he had been to become an American citizen and that we must never forget how lucky we were to live in the greatest country in the world.

    I waited in line for an hour and a half Saturday and was so stoked to cast my vote for President Obama and VP Joe "Malarkey" Biden.

    Now, we just need to get through the Frankenstorm and before you know it, we'll never have to look at or listen to Willard or Queen Ann ever again!

    "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. We must put our hands on it and we must bend it in the direction of justice." MLK

    by mindara on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:45:00 PM PDT

    •  Your story is touching. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suesue

      Your Grandfather sounds like he was a good man!

      I have a roommate whose recent ancestors are from Germany (that's Nazi Germany), but I see that this was obviously not the case for you!

      I'm in New York right now unfortunately, so I will be feeling Frankenstorm, but I am in a less danger prone area.

      I fly back to Tallahassee on the 4th and will be driving right down to Orlando! I will NOT miss this election!

      UNINSTALLING MITT ROMNEY..... █████████▒▒▒▒ 69%

      by saxoman1 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:11:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really appreciate your story, and your (6+ / 0-)

    description of the popularity of the President among this new generation of immigrants. I think you've hit on a very important angle with the very different character of recent immigration. It's a much smaller world than it was even in the 20th Century, and new immigrants are fundamentally more worldly than before.

    America has been very used to a familiar arc of new immigrants arriving at the bottom of the ladder (unless they were favoured types like white British), and working their way up largely by shedding any connections to their previous world and becoming wholeheartedly American™.

    Of course, what it meant to be American™ was in a rule book set up by a privileged white class who thought they could "manage" this process in perpetuity. There were also the awkward historical remnants like Native Americans who despite best efforts to eradicate them are still around, and of course a huge population of African Americans whose ancestors came here hundreds of years ago.

    If you consider the way President Obama has been characterised by the right, with increasing frenzy, it's either as a stereotype of an African slave (despite having no personal connection to that narrative), or a quasi-socialist European who pronounces Pakistan with a local accent. To you and the rest of the world he is the epitome of a new world person, who could go to Indonesia and speak Bahasi Indonesian, who can greet a Cairo audience with "Salaam alaikum". This is the kind of President the world cheers as the leader of still one of the most important countries on the planet.

    But to understand this, the right would need to let go of the control they have exercised over the very definition of "American" - they would have to recognize Brazil as an emerging world power, not some big "banana republic" as they may have remembered from history books. They would have to recognize that China and India are powers that used to command 50% of the world's economy from 0-1000AD and intend to get back to a more proportionate share of global wealth.

    But to do all of that they would need to let go of their small and tribal mindset and begin to understand and appreciate a world on the move, where (I hope) every American will eventually figure out they are of African descent (if Ancestry.com could go back that far)- they just took different paths to get here.

  •  Congrats! Fascinating story. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saxoman1, GAS, Orlaine
  •  I have an online store where I sell my artwork (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saxoman1

    on pro-Obama buttons & tshirts and I can tell you that my sales have steadily increased as we get closer to the election.  One thing I've also noticed is that at least one-third of my sales for the last month have been from outside this country - I've been getting sales from the UK, Germany, Japan, you name it.  This, as well as your story, heartens me!  GOTV!!!

    GOTV like your life depends on it ~ it does. Obama 2012!

    by Orlaine on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:07:28 AM PDT

  •  I know that this diary is old... (0+ / 0-)

    But just to say, the stereotype that Iceland is a racially uniform country ("even foreign countries with very small percentages of non-white people like Iceland") gets tiring after a while.  The first person I met when I moved onto my street was a little black girl (who I should add spoke only Icelandic).  We have the second highest percentage of immigrants among the nordic countries (only bested by Sweden), and are about average for Europe, at about 7 1/2%.  Want a Nordic country? Finland has less than half the percentage of immigrants as we do at just under 3%, and the average immigrant there is whiter - why don't you pick on them for a bit?  Poland is 1.8% immigrant.  Heck, Romania has a staggeringly low 0.6%.

    Why does everyone use Iceland as a stereotype of an "all white, racially uniform land"?

    •  Sorry if that's how it came across. (0+ / 0-)

      I only meant to compare it to America. But I'm sure what you say is true (I hadn't done extensive research on this particular subject)!

      UNINSTALLING MITT ROMNEY..... █████████▒▒▒▒ 69%

      by saxoman1 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site