At the polls, voters widely divided on feelings for Obama

No matter which side of the ballot box you checked off, voters wore emotions on their sleeves as they left polling places across the city yesterday, with the reason for virtually everyone’s choices linked exclusively to President Obama.

The so-called enthusiasm gap among Democrats was not evident at polling places across North Philadelphia while in neighborhoods like Center City and Northeast Philadelphia, voters leaned Republican.

Mike Gilbert Sr. left the polls at 17th and Tioga feeling pretty upbeat. “A lot of people I’m talking to are just as enthusiastic as in [2008] because they know this is just as important as 2008,” said Gilbert, as vehicles carrying ads for Democratic candidates circled the neighborhood.

In Center City, when a reporter asked a few voters which way they voted, most said they voted Republican across the board, saying they were angry about the current administration’s policies. “My vote was a straight vote against Obama,” said one man, just outside a polling place on Chestnut Street.

Other voters were worried about the nation’s current crises and hoped that changing their traditional opinion could help turn the country around. “I voted Republican, which is unusual for me,” said one woman, who placed her ‘I voted!’ sticker on her jacket as she stood outside her polling place. “My main concern is the economy. I couldn’t stand by and watch it continue to crumble.”

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