[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.obama.elex.reac.jpg caption="Barack Obama supporters celebrate at Hyde Park Hair Salon where President-elect Barack Obama gets his hair cut on the south side of Chicago"]
Eleven months ago, I attended a John Edwards speech in the little town of Algona, Iowa. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Edwards had drawn a large crowd of mostly uncommitted voters to a local factory that made wind-turbine components. Two things soon became apparent as I interviewed a dozen or so Algonans before the speech. The first was that there were a fair number of Republicans present, a phenomenon I was beginning to notice all over Iowa. They were not yet committed to voting Democratic, but they mentioned their disappointment in George W. Bush, their frustration with the war in Iraq and their dismay with the right-wing religious drift of the state Republican Party. The last time I'd seen so many crossovers was in 1980, when Democrats — angry at Jimmy Carter and their party's leftward drift — made their presence felt at Republican meetings, heralding the onset of the Reagan era.
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