MORRISVILLE, NC—I'm in Wake County, home of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill,, and Cary, the heart of the Research Triangle, to chronicle some of the final hours of the BJ Lawson campaign. Lawson's the most successful of the wave of Ron Paul Republican candidates who won their party's nods for House seats. The good news for Lawson is that he's out-organizing Democratic Rep. David Price, the incumbent, and he's spent all day talking to voters at a crowded, slow-moving early vote site. The bad news is that Obama is running far stronger than Kerry did, and Kerry won this district. Price is counting on coattails.
I watched Lawson and a few volunteers walk among the voters, handing out Cato pocket Constitutions ("this is the rulebook," says Lawson) and informing them he's anti-war and anti-bailout and that Price is a 20-year incumbent. Not even the Democrats are put off by him. But the tide against the GOP has turned Lawson's affiliation into, as one volunteer put it, a "scarlet R."
"He's trying to change his party," said voter Jesse Benoit, who had talked with Lawson briefly, "which he has to, because it's not his party anymore. I'm voting a straight Democratic ticket."
This district isn't too indictive of the state, and Paul campaign veterans are not the most optimistic of Republicans, but they're not bullish on the ticket.
Lawson's banter with the voters has been fascinating, and I'll post about that a bit later.