Frankly, not too many people were home, but of those that were, most were willing to take the literature on Courage and give it a look over. One woman said she'd be sure to vote for the Democrat. Another man, when asked if he had any questions, said "when's he going to bring them home from Iraq?"
I think a lot of people hope their first canvassing experience might yield legions of the converted - my smiling, innocuous presence at the door should be enough for these voters to throw their hands in the air and praise the chance to elect a good candidate. However, the majority of our country's geographic area is currently painted red, and if we want it to turn blue it's going to take a lot of effort, and a lot of brief encounters with voters at their front doors.
My fellow volunteers told me that even two years ago, our efforts would have been laughed out of the neighborhood. Now, people are willing to consider an alternative. Self-identified Republicans gave the campaign literature real consideration. The voter rolls show people who voted Republican in 2000 voting Democratic consistently since. This change can be credited in part to the hard work of volunteers like those at the Travis County Democratic Party Headquarters.
Ultimately, I like to think that the presence of the Courage campaign in this far-flung neighborhood might catch the attention of a few voters. Lamar Smith certainly can't make it out here - he's too busy donating thousands to the Tom Delay defense fund. I guess he's lucky to have almost twenty times as much cash on hand as Courage. Smith's money comes from big business - Clear Channel, Verizon, Schering-Plough, Altria, GE - whereas the biggest donors for Courage are unions, teachers, and progressive grassroots groups.
All in all, I'm glad I donated these few hours of my time to helping a candidate who represents a voice for change in Congress. If you can't make it out to Austin or San Antonio, find someone nearby! It feels good to channel all of your frustration into positive action. And if all else fails, there's usually free coffee at campaign headquarters.