Monday, November 3, 2008

Final GOTV push, Day 2

Today was the second day of the final Get Out The Vote (GOTV) push.  I am a canvass captain in North Boulder (Colorado) for the Obama/Udall/Polis campaigns, which just means I train new volunteers in addition to canvassing.

Though thus far the NB office hasn't looked busy, there has been a steady influx of volunteers, which means we knocked on over 1100 doors today.  That's a decent figure, and hopefully more volunteers show up tomorrow and E-day (very likely), so we can really turn out Obama supporters here.  Though Gallup's final release (via dkos) suggests Obama is up 53-42 among likely voters, a series of polls released by Democratic pollster PPP says the election is much closer where it matters - in the battleground states of OH, FL, NC; PA is becoming tighter, but so is MT.  Obama apparently has a good lead in CO, but I will believe it when I see it.

Today, I had some experiences, which perhaps encompassed the highs, the lows, and the middle of canvassing.  First, the good.  Most folks who I talked to supported Obama - this is Boulder, but some say folks here are apt to support Nader more than Obama!  Very possible... Pacifists don't like Obama's position on Afghanistan - the other day, my neighbor said, "why should we fight in a country half the world away that hasn't harmed us?"  [I am no kumbaya-singing pacifist.  Gotta finish Al-Qaeda, and that requires fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.]
A neighbor to one of my stops was a little worried about OH and PA, but I told her things are OK in PA, and Obama has many more routes to 270 even if he loses OH.  She said she'd stay up late tonight to finish her work, so she could come volunteer, which is a great attitude!
There was also this incredibly beautiful woman I ran across - I was canvassing her room-mates, who were out.  Greek goddess, I thought, but I managed to spew out the required information coherently.  I woulda asked her out, but a random canvasser asking a person out is so not creepy, right? :-)

The middle - a woman, about my age, asked me what I hoped to accomplish with the GOTV effort.  She supported Obama, so that was no problem, it was just that I had asked her to volunteer.  I talked to her for about 10 minutes, but I don't think I convinced her.  Though the polls may show Obama up in CO, folks, remember - this was a red state for many years, and polls don't win states - only votes do.

[On CO as a red state - Amendment 48 tries to classify a fertilized egg as a person, and Kristi Burton, the sponsor, was selling it on local PBS today as "a commonsense basis for further negotiations."  Apparently, CO is a testing ground for this anti-abortion legislation, though a poll suggests Amendment 48 might be defeated.  Even Bob Schaffer, the Republican candidate for CO-Senate, is apparently against it, though Burton denied this.  A guy on my canvass, when I asked who he voted for, mentioned Amendment 48 as the most important issue for him!]

Another young woman I met today said she was voting only for President this year.  I wonder if that was because she didn't want to vote for Schaffer, but she didn't want to support one-Party rule (by voting for Democrat Mark Udall for Senate) either.  Oh well.
[On my first canvass, I met an elderly woman who said she'd seen an NEA ad supporting Udall, and so was unsure because she didn't like the NEA - even though Udall has been the Boulder Congressman for almost a decade.  But she supports Obama... So there are other reasons to oppose Udall as well, I suppose.]

Finally, the bad.  On my fifth or sixth day of canvassing (it's all a blur!), I came across a drunk (at 2 PM) nutjob.  In an apartment building, nobody else around, though he was small-built, so I could probably take him.  First, he goes: "You are with ACORN, aren't you?"  Ummm... No.  That starts off a tirade - "F***ing socialists, tax the people who create jobs..." etc.  I had just inserted Obama and Udall leaflets under the door of an apartment, so he goes around me, takes it out, and storms out of the building, tearing up the leaflets.  (I replaced the leaflets later, this time pushing it well inside the door.)  This was followed by the guy ranting outside the building, using more four-letter-words and flipping the bird at me.
Later I walked into the next building, and after a few stops, the guy came up behind me again.  Walked the corridor, and tried to pry another leaflet from under a door (but now I had learned, and he couldn't get it out).  Walked off, again muttering and swearing.  As I said before, I could have probably taken him if it came to that, but he left me shaking, nonetheless.  Probably a Sarah Palin fan.  The worst part of it was that the experience erased the picture of the Greek goddess from my mind... I just remember she had lovely blue eyes and long, wavy, jet black hair :-)

Time to get some sleep now, two more days to go... Remember, folks: polls don't win elections, only votes do.  And you knock on enough doors, you run into all sorts of people, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So canvass during day time, and/or if you prefer, walk in pairs.  But it's overall a good, positive experience at least in Boulder.  And it's for a great cause!

By the way, I should give a shout-out to the "higher-ups" in our team - they work longer hours, have been at this longer, and deserve full credit for keeping us enthusiastic. And of course, the comfort captains and volunteers who are bringing in good food :-)

(Also cross-posted at dkos)

1 comment:

Annapakshi said...

Well done subbu! fingers crossed, the efforts will pay off! An Obama win will inject a lot of confidence into the economy :)

by the way, i cannot believe the queues at polling stations, looks like the system is only prepared for a 50% turnout!