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OK, folks, we’re about six hours into the Potomac Primary, and LL’s been working the phones. Here’s what he’s got:
Anyone willing to stick their neck out and make an early judgment says that turnout is high. Anita Bonds, chair of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, says people are out to the polls in D.C. in significant numbers. “My thinking is that we may be having very brisk turnout in the District of Columbia,” she says.
The early numbers back her up—-at least compared to four years ago. Here’s some secondhand key precinct numbers from after the a.m. rush:
- Precinct 25, Goodwill Baptist Church, 1862 Kalorama Rd. NW—-500 (2004 ballots cast: 544)
- Precinct 52, St. John’s College High School, 2607 Military Rd. NW—-270 (2004: 291)
- Precinct 66, Backus Middle School, 5171 South Dakota Ave. NE—-900 (2004: 821)
- Precinct 89, Hine Jr. High School, 335 8th St. SE—-estimated 1,200 on the day (2004: 518)
Currently, the GOTV operation should be in full swing for Obama. Tom Lindenfeld, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s longtime political honcho, says anywhere form 800 to 1,200 canvassers should be on the streets using as many as 250 private vehicles to ferry folks to the polls. (Unlike the mayoral race, this is an all-volunteer operation.) Obama made an appearance on Capitol Hill this morning, but he’s not jetted off to Wisconsin for his next race. (Hillary Clinton‘s already in Texas.) Obama campaign aide John Falcicchio reports a few minor problems, such as long lines driving seniors away and broken scanner at a Ward 6 precinct that has since been fixed.
Today’s also a big day for politicians not on the ballot—-particularly D.C. Council candidates who have their best opportunity between now and the September primary to reach likely voters.
In the at-large race, Carol Schwartz challengers Adam Clampitt and Dee Hunter are on the street. (Well, Clampitt himself isn’t on the street, but he has an excuse—-he’s on a mission. As in he’s a naval reserve officer on assignment for exercises through the end of the month.) Clampitt campaign manager Lane Hudson reports covering the morning and evening rushes at about 25 to 30 precincts. The most enthusiastic man of the day so far is Hunter, who says that his 30-some volunteers are on pace to pass out some 10,000 pieces of literature today at a similar number of precincts.
As for Ward 2, the Jack Evans machine is out in force, reports campaign manager Keith Carbone. Certain reports had reached LL that Clinton electioneers were doubling as Jack backers (not surprising considering Evans’ endorsement) but Carbone says there’s no connection between the two campaigns aside from anyone’s personal preferences. Challenger Cary Silverman reports that his people are out in force (though one source reports there was no Silverman rep during the a.m. rush at the key Precinct 18 at Shiloh Baptist Church, in the middle of a Shaw neighborhood where Evans is vulnerable).
As for tonight, the mayor and the official Obama crew will be at the Madison Hotel, 1177 15th St. NW, the grassroots crew will be at Busboys & Poets (of course), 14th and V Sts. NW, and Clinton folks will be at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, 639 Indiana Ave. NW. Put any other results watches in the comments.