I’m writing this post at 1am, UK time. So by the time you wake up and read this, it will be well out of date. But it is just to tell a story which illustrates something that I think we now realise: the turnout this evening will have been HUGE. I have just driven up Route 3, one of the main north-south roads outside of Manchester. Traffic ground to a halt, and I could see there had been an accident on the road ahead. Cars were backed all along ahead, and I could see the telltale flashing blue of a police car with their lights flashing. Frustrated, I crawled through the hardly moving traffic in spurts. About 20 minutes later I reached the site of the accident, only to find my anticipatory rubbernecking ruined. It wasn’t an accident, but a polling station. There must have been lines backed up for half a mile on each side, with three policemen on the road trying to get people in and out. I rolled down the window and asked how busy it was. The cop raised his hand about his head and yelled: “It’s up to he-yah!” Now, having got on email, there are rumours flying around about polling stations which have run out of ballots for the Democrats, other precincts with queues out the door and the like. It might in the light of morning turn out to be untrue – but I suspect not. It looks not only that Iowa wasn’t a fluke, but that it was only a pre-shock of what is to come.
The turnout factor
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