I spent the morning phonebanking, calling every registered Democrat and Democrat-leaning Independent who hasn't voted yet and getting them to vote, and spent from lunchtime until schools let out working the polls. The dozen or so of us phonebanking ran through the lists over and over until people voted (or said they voted) or told us why they wouldn't vote. I considered this to be a version of punishment for not voting early. If you don't vote, we will call you, until you do.
Phonebanking, particularly by 11/7, was a different story. We had scripts that had arguing points for every issue imaginable. They really weren't necessary though, because the overwhelming majority of people (remember, these are registered Dems or Dem leaners) said that their issue with Ford was...abortion. They pointed out the ad that the GOP ran saying that Ford voted for taxpayer-funded abortion 10 times, and they simply could not vote for somebody who voted to allow abortions at all, particularly not taxpayer-funded ones. Several people, mostly women, were absolutely furious with the idea that not only is okay for people to kill their babies, but that we all should help pay for it. Of course, that ad was really misleading. It also said that Ford voted to increase taxes 178 times and voted to let schoolchildren have access to the abortion pill. What this probably means is that Ford voted on many different versions of the same broad health care and budget bills and that a portion of these bills contained language that may be interpreted this way, however much of a stretch it is. I don't know for sure, I haven't looked up the voting record myself, but I do know for a fact that our taxes were not increased 178 times in ten years.
After that I stood out in the cold, light drizzle for three hours waving a Ford sign. I got a lot of honks and waves, a lot of people pretending I didn't exist, and even a few thumbs-down and one Colbertian wag of the finger. Yes, some woman actually waggled her finger at me for holding a Harold Ford sign. I'm not sure, but I think I might have giggled.
Anyway, only one person stopped to talk to me. He declared himself to be a liberal socialist, and then he added, "but I voted for Ford." That's right, he used the word, `but.' I thought that was funny, too (but not as funny as the wag of the finger).
He proceeded to tell me that he used to live in Argentina at a time when the military and the government had close to absolute power. He got out before it got too bad, but it was still common in the town he was in for families to be "disappeared" and no one could say anything about it. He said that he was seeing the same sorts of things start to happen here like they were before it got bad in Argentina, so he knew he had to vote for Ford to give Democrats a chance to fix everything that the Republican administration had broken. He was a neat guy.
Anyway, the whole purpose of me saying this was to point out that what RenaRF encountered on Free Republic, I found in my very own Red State. Nobody I talked to said that they wouldn't vote for Ford because he was too conservative. Nobody brought up torture bills, Patriot Acts, DOMA, or anything, just abortion and "I just don't like him" which, when prodded if there was anything in particularly they didn't like, any issue, any legislation, any attitudes, I got very little in regards to issues, just "I don't like the way he talks" which I took to mean either too Jesus-loaded or too politically smooth, and "I just don't trust him," which I took those to mean "I don't like black people" and "I don't like people with corrupt families." No one I ever talked to while canvassing ever mentioned any of the issues, either.
In fact, if it weren't for DailyKos, I would never have suspected that there could be so much animosity towards a Democrat from the liberal side of Democrats. It makes me somewhat concerned that I see more and more signs of there being two Democratic parties, the central/moderate/corporate version and the liberal/grassroots/progressive one. Not that I mind the Big Tent idea, just that I worry about what Lincoln said, something about a house divided among itself...