Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Ray on Radio Sheffield this Afternoon

Ray Drainville

In my ongoing quest to be the latest Media Whore, I was interviewed on Radio Sheffield at noon today.

I’m an American expatriate living in the UK & as I’m something of a local, Radio Sheffield has asked me to comment upon US Politics from time to time. The first time was during the 2000 election débacle—I hadn’t slept & had to explain the Electoral College in ten words or less. I really cannot remember this, as my short-term memory went into melt-down during this period: I barely slept for the entire period from early November 2000 until mid-December 2000, when the race was finally decided by the Supreme Court.

More memorably I was asked to come into the studio ASAP during the attacks on 11 September 2001. Since I was busy working, I hadn’t the faintest clue what had been happening until I turned on the TV after a friend called me. I then spent the next two hours at the studio, watching the World Trade Centre collapse. It was a surreal & tragic experience, to say the least.

Now I’ve been asked to comment upon the Democrats & Barack Obama. I don’t think I said much that was new or startling: the Democrats haven’t been this hungry for power for as long as I can remember. And yes, Barack Obama does differ from George Bush on a number of issues. Nothing particularly revelatory.

But I did get to shop out one of my pet theories. I think Obama’s poll numbers are artificially low. Obama’s registered millions of young people & pollsters in the US only poll likely voters. Historically, young voters don’t vote, so pollsters ignore them; this time, I think they’re sufficiently excited to do so. Add that motivation to the fact that, as in the UK, American youth use mobile phones—which pollsters don’t call—and you can perhaps then see why I think Obama is likely to bury McCain. Time will tell.