I attended a “phone-bank party” today at the home of a friend of a friend while visiting family here in Petaluma. When they talk about Obama’s “ground game,” they’re describing what seems to be a very sophisticated method of using volunteers. The party’s are just to prime the pump, but any Obama supporter can participate on his/her own time. First you visit www.mybarackobama.com. You’ll have several selections, including “Californias calling Nevadans.” You hit the link and you’re given 15 names and phone numbers. You hit the link to one of them and you’re given a rough script with information to check off and log in, including whom the voters is leaning towards, what issues interest them, whether they want an absentee ballot or more information, etc. There’s a box for random information. When you finish with that caller you hit the send box to deliver it to the campaign and then you’re brought to the next voter on your list.
You have your choice of battleground states, but they’re asking Californian’s to focus on Nevada or New Mexico. The lists are taken from voter registration rolls, but it’s amazing how many numbers are disconnected. They really hope this will help to clean up the list for GOTV.
I made about 30 calls today, and got through to maybe 10. My fellow phone bankers were getting Obama supporters, the hardest question being whether they would be willing to volunteer. I had mostly undecided voters, and a few McCain supporters. None for Obama, though one voter brought up Obama’s connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and was shocked when I told him about Davis’ (McCain’s campaign manager) monetary connections to the same. Others brought up the experience issue, Obama’s “connections” and other well-saturated GOP talking points. But nobody I asked had swallowed the claim that Obama’s plan would raise taxes on them.
If you support Obama and have some time, you might want to give the program a look. I didn’t find anything like it at McCain’s site (though they do have a page to encourage McCain supporters to frequent liberal blogs and post talking points). Has this been tried before? Is it working?
Addendum: The shot is of the future president speaking to 26 thousand wet Virginia residents. Would you stand in the rain to hear McCain? Palin? I lifted it it from Daily Kos. Yeah, it’s starting to feel like it. I hope he has something to work with once he takes office.