Canvassing for Barack

Posted 11/02/2008 by Sumner in Labels: , , ,
Yesterday I canvassed for Barack Obama in Kannapolis, NC. This was the second time that I have done so (the first being 2 weeks ago). As I've mentioned in a previous post, the most remarkable aspect of canvassing for Barack is the organizational structure that the campaign has been able to develop and employ. The office from which myself and the other ground troops were sent out is run exclusively by Davidson students. I'm talking about a group of 20-somethings running a campaign office and all of the responsibilities that lie within, while simultaneously being students, celebrating Halloween, and not missing a beat. It's truly remarkable the way that the campaign has developed from the top down to create the most complex, and arguably effective, grassroots campaign ever. Never have I been so enthused politically as I am right now. I feel like I am truly part of a movement.
While canvassing yesterday I did not come across a single McCain supporter of the around 60 doors that I knocked on; there were some undecideds. More remarkable than the number of Obama supporters that I came across was the fact that so many had already early voted. This suggests that the Obama campaign has succeeded in both gaining the support of voters and in mobilizing them in a way that benefits them. With such a large early turnout in favor of Obama, it will ease tensions on Election Day.

My favorite moment of the afternoon was at one of the last houses that I visited. After knocking on the door, I was greeted by a young girl probably about 6 years old. I asked her if her parents were home at which point he mother came to the door. I gave the traditional talk asking whether or not they were going to be supporting Obama on Tuesday and was enthusiastically answered that everyone in the house has already early voted the previous day. She then asked me with a somewhat shocked expression if I was going to be supporting/voting for Obama. After responding that I surely would, she promptly raised her hand and exclaimed "High Five!"

The pure joy this brought to both of us was remarkable. That's what the political process is about. It's about people getting energized about a great candidate and avowedly expressing their overwhelming support. This election is about change, and when a group of people can come together and collectively call for it, that's something powerful. My hope is that the enthusiasm that I saw yesterday in all of the people I met can translate into the election of one of the best presidential candidates we Americans have ever seen. History is before us. Let's seize the day!

2 comment(s) to... “Canvassing for Barack”


smartblackboy said...

I am also a veteran canvass(er) but as you know I like to pretend to be "independent" and thus have only canvassed for nonpartisan non profits and only in local elections (because I think local elections mean a heck of a lot more than national elections). However, I would just like to point out that it isn't surprising that you didn't come across one McCain supporter. Most canvassing efforts use lists that have pinpoint accuracy so you only target people who would probably lean your way, and they get these lists from a variety of sources (what kind of magazines you subscribe to, the gum you buy, if you shop at cvs, etc). So I would be more surprised if you came across many McCain supporters because that would mean an unorganized campaign. Clearly the Obama campaign is on top of life.

Sumner said...

You are absolutely correct about targeting individuals most likely to be supporters so that you can round up the base. However, when I canvassed two weeks about I came across several McCain supporters. Either things have gotten more focused, or I was simply in an area that was supportive.

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