Fox News is reporting that Barack Obama’s Thursday evening acceptance speech will be moved from the enormous outdoor Bank of America stadium, where they were hoping to cram 74,000 fawning fans, to the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena (where the rest of the convention is happening, the usual home of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team and Charlotte Sting WNBA team) which will likely allow only about 15,000 people to attend.
It’s a big blow to the Democrats’ hopes to keep North Carolina in November because the scheme was to get those who would attend the event to volunteer for the campaign. There will certainly be thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of disappointed NC Dems. Their disappointment will be all the greater if when Thursday night rolls around the weather is just fine.
If I were cynical, I would suggest that the reason the DNC canceled this so far in advance is that they were having trouble filling the stadium, and if there were more than a few empty seats that, almost as much as Obama’s bloviation, would have been the story.
[Update: Again on Fox News, Brad Blakeman, says “it is clear…they could not fill this arena” even with efforts to bus people in. Transportation was difficult as was housing those people, and unions weren’t helping the way they expected. The weather was the rationale but the real reason was that they could not fill the stadium. Liberal Alan Colmes said it’s “right-wing Republican political spin” and that it’s “been raining on and off all week; they can’t take the chance.”]
At least the DNC already has the phone numbers and e-mail of the extra 60,000 people, and I’m sure they will still reach out to ask them for help. My bet is that Republicans will carry North Carolina by a substantially wider margin than the current neck-and-neck polls.
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