Last night I attended an event with a local Barack Obama field organizer. The event was a collection of precinct leaders from Southern Chapel Hill and the question being addressed was "how do we work together". The answer was electrifying. Having spent a little time volunteering for the John Edwards campaign and having just touched on the databases there, I was really impressed with how the Obama campaign is managing their field campaign. In fact, I went into the meeting thinking I had a good idea for how we could turn out our vote in my precinct and left thinking that I am going to do exactly what the Obama campaign wants me to - and here is why.
For almost a year now people like Graig have been doing new voter registrations in Orange County (and throughout North Carolina). The amount of new voters is staggering and I wish I had that number at my fingertips, but I don't. I can tell you that the Chapel Hill office of the Obama campaign registered 400 people YESTERDAY. Just in Chapel Hill. On a Wednesday.
So, the first reason I will be doing exactly what they ask of me is that they've registered 10s of 1000s of new voters in Orange County.
For the last several months the campaign has gone into general election mode here, which I don't know all the ins and outs of, but I can tell you a few things. What they are doing is making contact with every sporadic Dem in Orange County and every Unaffiliated voter in Orange County. Those who are strongly McCain are never contacted again in any way, saving time. Those that are strongly Obama are moved out of this phase and into the GOTV phase. Those who are on the fence are contacted in person through canvassing. Canvassing a neighborhood changes on a daily basis, depending on how long ago undecideds were contacted, their likelihood of voting, their likelihood of being won-over by a face-to-face, etc. It's a statistical miracle. If you go out two days in a row you will contact two separate groups of people in the same neighborhood.
So, the second reason I will be doing exactly what they ask of me is that they are managing phone calling and door knocking so as to not tick-off potential change voters.
You've heard the rumor about Republicans who are supporting Barack Obama? Well, it's no rumor. I don't know who they are, but the campaign talked about a number of disaffected Republicans to whom they have reached out. They are swinging for Obama in large numbers. (after the red meat of last night and the mainstream cable's 24/7 love fest over McCain/Palin I would expect some of those people to swing back)
So, the third reason I will be doing exactly what they ask of me is that they are managing to target disaffected Republicans throughout North Carolina.
There is one group that hasn't been reached out to, and that SHOULD include you. Long-time, active Democrats. This stage of the game is about identifying potential Obama voters. Well, we're the ones aren't we?
So, the fourth reason I will be doing exactly what they ask of me is that they are not wasting time calling and knocking on doors of hardcore Democrats.
But, all of this is about to change and that is why you are needed! Soon, before you realize it, it will be Get Out The Vote time here in North Carolina. A week before early voting, two weeks of early voting, pre-election weekend, and election day. At this point the Obama campaign will be taking those lists of sporadic Dems, UNA, disattisfied Republicans, and hardcore Dems and knocking on every door. Getting every single one of those people to the polls.
That is how they won in Iowa to stun the nation and that is how they went about winning everywhere else in the country, including Alaska. That, is how they will go about winning in North Carolina. If we do this, if we knock on those doors and get out that vote we'll not only put Barack in the White House, but we'll put Hagan in the Senate, Perdue in the Governor's mansion, and Kissell 'n Carter in the Congress.
You need to see it to believe it, I can't wait to do it. We're working out the dates for our first precinct canvassing and after that we hope to be doing them all the time right through election day.
Get in touch, get out the vote, win. Sounds like fun.