Sunday, October 05, 2008

Flipping Florida

We had been idly thinking about volunteering for the local Obama campaign, but hadn't really got anything going. Between work, kids, house, baseball and virtual couching, we hadn't made the effort to find out what to do. Fortunately, we got a kickstart when Moveon.org called me a few weeks ago. They had been calling people all over who indicated an interest in volunteering and scheduling times. I made an appointment and we did a little phone banking at the local office later that week.

Last week, I got a call from our neighborhood coordinator Tony. He was trying to round up people to do some canvassing in our area. Having got our feet wet with the phone banking, we said we'd meet him Saturday morning. We went to one of the neighborhoods in our area and got lists of addresses. Tony said these were people who, when called, had indicated they were undecided or were going to vote for Obama. We were supposed to find out how they were voting (early, vote by mail etc...) and who they were supporting, if undecided.

Here's Tony and a couple of other volunteers at the meetup in the neighborhood 10042008 Tony, our neighborhood coordinator

Michelline and I aren't introverts by any means, but knocking on doors for a political campaign is definitely outside of our comfort zone. But if we can help turn out even a few additional votes, that can make a difference. We know McCain is counting on Florida, and turning it will probably give Obama the election.

We set out with our list and our campaign lit and started knocking - 10042008 Michelline canvassing for Obama

Out of all the houses we hit, only 3 were still undecided. The others had decided for Obama previously or had made up their minds for Obama since they were called. We even took a voter registration app for a likely Obama supporter who hadn't registered. Everyone was very pleasant, we had some nice conversations and there was no tension or combativeness. We had forgotten to bring water (stupid, after 3 hours in the sun, we were dying), but we got offered water by two different households, including one of the undecideds.

We'll definitely be doing more volunteering over the next few weeks. We've signed up to do voter transport and we may do more canvassing and calling. I think it's especially important to keep the pressure on now that McCain is going to throw the sink at Obama this last month.

(Speaking of McCain, we just saw one of his newest negative ads, claiming Obama is untrustworthy and using the 94 tax votes lie again. McCain is such an asshole.)

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20 comments:

The Other Susan said...

You rock! Thanks for getting out there--every little bit makes a difference!

I canvassed for Dean in 2004 in New Hampshire during a cold spell. I thought I was going to turn into a popsicle.

I know my brother is Florida is voting Obama--let's hope everyone in Palm Beach manages to get their votes right this time....

Chris Howard said...

Thanks, it was actually a great experience. It's nice to feel like a part of the campaign and that were contributing. We have pretty full lives, but if everyone like us could get out and do a little bit, it would go a long way. And I really think there is a lot of volunteer activity this time around.

Is this the Susan from TwoGlasses?

Tracy said...

You GO, Howards!

I'm quite envious. I almost wish I lived in a swing state, except I'd get mad at too many people.

We may go up to NH to help. I've put our names in to volunteer. Now we'll see if we hear anything.

The only time I've been physically involved in a campaign was for Ned Lamont who contested and won the democratic nomination for US Senate against Lieberman. It was fun and it's good to feel part of something important. I'm glad Tori's involved.

Patrick said...

I did the same thing and got the opposite. I got all McCain supporters. I even had one guy tell me "No, fuck no. I'm not gonna vote for the arab nigger sonuvabitch and you're a fuckin' asshole for votin' for him." and another woman tell me " We don't discuss our elections on Sunday and you should be in church and not soliciting."

This was at 3:30 in the afternoon. Who the fuck is in church at 3:30 in the afternoon?

The Other Susan said...

Yep, Susan from TwoGlasses, that's
me.

I keep up on a bunch of the associated blogs, but I don't comment much because I don't own a computer, so all my reading is done at work (during lunch, before we open, etc.)

Mostly I am technology free, but I am starting to think a laptop might be nice, if I could get one cheap and use free wi-fi around town......

Chris Howard said...

Wow, Patrick, that sucks. I'm going out for a couple of hours again today and I hope I don't have your experience.

likwidshoe said...

Is that 42 cents what will be left out of a dollar after Obama and the Democrats raise taxes?

Chris Howard said...

Ha ha ha, likwidshoe. Stale right-wing propaganda is the best humor.

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