The end is near!
Months of mud-slinging, attack ads and political campaigning on the state and national levels wrap up at 8 p.m. today, when the polls close. Some folks say they can't wait, some are a bit disappointed, and campaign volunteers say they're excited but exhausted.
"I think many voters will be glad to see the end of the endless campaigns," said Robert Speel, associate professor of political science at Penn State Erie. "But there's a lot of voters who love politics, including political science professors, who are interested in everything going on and are sometimes let down when there's no more election coverage."
The Associated Press
Sally Hughes of Cresson, for one, can't wait for the election to end. Seated on a bench at the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona on Friday, Hughes, 33, vented her frustration with the campaigns.
"I'm just tired of hearing about it," she said. "I'm ready for it to be over. I don't even know if I'm voting, I'm so sick of it. It's everywhere you go, and I'm sick of them bickering back and forth."
For Jacque Hummel of Roaring Spring, most of the coverage has been overkill.
"I just feel like we've been inundated with stuff everywhere," said Hummel, 36, as she ate with her family at the mall food court. "It's on the radio, TV, Internet - it's everywhere. After the debates, and everybody's take on what was said was rehashed, you make up your own mind. I feel like I've made my decision at this point."
But despite the repeated sound bites, Dr. Brian Cole of Hollidaysburg - a part-time campaign worker for Sen. John McCain - said he's tuned in to this election.
"I do think on the news, with the pundits cycling the same thing, it gets annoying," Cole said at the mall food court. "But the issues - they're very interesting. It's our country and our world, and you can't get tired of the issues."
Tracing a map of neighborhoods to canvas, one campaign volunteer at Sen. Barack Obama's Altoona headquarters said she'll feel both relieved and disappointed when the polls close.
"You talk about it every waking minute of the day," said Lisa Ruffley, 48, of Altoona. "It consumes you. You watch TV, you hear it in the car, you come down here. It's not necessarily the time you put in, but you think about it all the time."
But will she miss it?
"Absolutely," she said. "I love getting involved."
Across the political spectrum at McCain's Altoona headquarters, volunteer Jerry Cox feels the same way.
"I'm going to be disappointed. This has probably been one of the most interesting experiences of my life," said Cox, 27, who lives in Altoona. "I have no idea what I'm going to do on the fifth - well, on the fifth, I'll be sleeping. But I have no idea what I'm going to do on the sixth."
Mirror Staff Writer Ashley Gurbal is at 946-7435.