Shortly after 11 a.m. at a polling place on the campus of West Chester University, just outside Philadelphia in Chester County, poll workers reported a steady pace -- about 200 voters so far. It was better than they expected, with a line of five to 10 folks waiting to vote, after a dismal showing in this year's primary. But poll workers said it was nowhere near 2008, when lines stretched for hours.
Even though the polling place was in a campus residence hall, there were more townspeople than students in line. Among them was Sara Rampon, 65, who identified herself as a Democratic Socialist. So, I said, when people yell "socialist" at President Obama, you must say, "right on."
"He's not, but I am," she replied. "That's our mantra."
Rampon is supporting the Democratic ticket because "it's the closest that I can come" to backing a socialist candidate (seems there aren't enough out there), and she said the environment is of particular concern to her. Joe Sestak's record of pushing an environmental agenda in the U.S. House and Dan Onorato's pledge to more forcefully regulate Marcellus Shale drilling is enough to earn her vote.
The West Chester students waiting to vote said the campus doesn't seem particularly tuned into the election, but they hoped their peers would come out. Kyle Stambaugh, 20, carrying a skateboard and wearing a pair of ambitious sideburns, confessed that he knew little about Sestak or Onorato -- he was just scared of the alternative.
"A lot of the teabaggers are kind of frightening, I guess," Stambaugh said, using a derogatory term for the tea party movement. "So if anything, it's a self-defense measure."