The line at Public School 163 on the Upper West Side made its way outside the building, curved around a fence, continued to the street and finally made a U-turn back to the center of the schoolyard.
Joe Robins, a 31-year-old Obama campaign volunteer patrolled the line, talking to each one of the hundreds of voters to make sure they knew their election district.
“I’m nervous. I woke up a lot during the night,” Robins said.
Since last November, he has been volunteering with the Broadway Democrats. “It’s a great year to be a Democrat and to be volunteering,” Robins said.
Time and Money
While many New Yorkers consider their civic duty to begin and end when they pull the lever on Election Day, thousands of Upper West Siders like Robins have worked overtime to make Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States.
The Upper West Side is the most Obama-friendly neighborhood in the country: As of Oct. 27, people residing west of Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street had donated nearly $6.5 million to the Obama campaign. Three of the top 10 zip codes, in terms of donations to Obama’s campaign, are on the Upper West Side, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.
“My guess is it’s the most active part of the city,” said Steve Max, 68, a manager at the Three Parks Independent Democrats and Broadway Democrats, which share a storefront on Broadway at 105th Street.
While Upper West Siders have dug deep into their pockets for Obama, they haven’t for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The center’s statistics show that residents have donated a comparatively meager $705,040 to his campaign.
Upper West Siders also have been generous with donating time to Obama’s campaign. On Election Day morning, the Three Parks storefront was buzzing with volunteers, though most of the work was done. The volunteers helped register nearly 7,000 new voters in the month and a half before Election Day, Max said.
“People just want to be involved,” said Stephanie Lasher, 63, a volunteer with Community Free Democrats. “New Yorkers are fired up.”