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I spent 1/2 of Saturday and all of Sunday canvassing on behalf of Barack Obama, Jeanne Shaheen, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter in various locales around central and southern New Hampshire this weekend. In total, I knocked on 128 doors and believe I walked well over 10 miles. I love the role of canvasser; you get to really meet people close up and when they open up to you, you can really feel like you're making a difference in helping them feel how important this election is and the kind of positive difference Senator Obama can bring to our nation.

Follow me over the jump for my tabulation of the weekend's events.

Saturday:
I went "a-canvassing" in some of the rural (and I do mean RURAL! – think ½ mile between houses and ¼ mile long driveways) and deep, crimson RED areas north of Concord NH. [For those of you who know NH, it was around Northfield and Canterbury, to be specific.]

All told, two of us probably hiked about 6 miles, knocked on about 40 doors today and spoke with about 25 people. Some of the people were quietly enthusiastic for Obama ("I am really hoping so much for the change he can bring this country.") and some were of the type that if I were to place them in Georgia or Mississippi someplace with a southern accent, they would definitely qualify as "rednecks" (that is, except perhaps for the fact that these rednecks drove Hummers, Porches and Mercedes, and were primarily concerned with holding on to their money...).

Here’s the Saturday count:
Obama: 12 Support / 9 Against / 2 Undecided / 2 Refused
Shaheen: 9 Support / 13 Against / 1 Undecided / 2 Refused


Sunday AM:
Sunday morning took me to the Manchester Obama office - state headquarters for the Obama campaign. The office was completely HUMMING - cars and people everywhere - with about 200 people around in the AM. My canvass territory was much more urban than the previous day, walking through nieghborhoods on the outskirts of the city to knock on 49 doors, and with a lot more Obama support here.

This morning's count:
Obama: 21 Support / 11 Against / 1 Undecided / 4 Refused
Shaheen: 19 Support / 13 Against / 1 Undecided / 4 Refused


Sunday PM:
I got back to the Manchester office, still FIRED UP and READY TO GO, so I was looking for another canvass pack to get going with. But Manchester had fulfilled the day's canvassers and sent me to the Merrimack staging location (about 10-12 miles south).  I went down there, got my abbreviated pack (39 doors) and headed out into one of the more bizarre sets of neighboorhoods I've seen canvassing. One street would have several very large, very well put-together houses (a number of which sported McCain/Palin signs), while you could turn the block onto the next street and be faced with abject poverty - people living in ramshackle buildings literally in shadow of those large homes. For me it wass very moving.

The Sunday PM count:
Obama: 13 Support / 6 Against / 4 Undecided / 5 Refused
Shaheen: 12 Support / 8 Against / 3 Undecided / 5 Refused


Summing Up
There were so many positive comments during my canvassing - lots of statements about "hope", "making a difference", "getting this country moving in the right direction again" and so on. And there were also three or four "lectures" about why people thought Obama was "bad" for the country - typically stuffed so full of lies and misrepresentations that I couldn't even begin to reason with them.

There was an electricity in the rooms of all three of the Obama Headquarters I visited - in Concord, in Manchester and on my way home tonight in Nashua (where I put my name on the list to help drive people to the polls on Tuesday). The staff and hundreds and hundreds of volunteers I saw this weekend were stunning. And the energy, kindness and heartfelt thanks I got from the folks on Saturday in the small Northfield, NH staging location (literally a barn and farmhouse on a country road) was FANTASTIC and very touching. When I stopped in tonight at nearly 7pm, the Nashua office was still absolutely humming with the energy of volunteers tabulating canvass results, making phone calls and staff planning tomorrow's missions.

So the "results" of my little, completely unscientific "polling" data (MoE +/- 75% ;-))across three different NH towns/cities and multiple different income brackets revealed the following results.

Raw Data
Obama 51% / McCain 29% / Undecided 8% / Refused 12%
Shaheen 44% / Sununu 38% / Undecided 6% / Refused 12%

Pessimistic View
I'm going to take the most pessimistic view I can, given the paucity of the data here and assume all of the Undecided & Refused voters will side with McCain & Sununu v. Obama and Shaheen.

Using the above pessimistic assumptions, my weekend canvassing yielded the following:
Obama 51% / McCain 49%
Shaheen 44% / Sununu 56%

In short, GOTV really matters, people!


Canary in the Coal Mine?
One thing that worried me was something an older gentleman said to me at one of my afternoon stops today. He was working just outside his garage, fixing an electrical connector, when I approached. I identified myself as a volunteer with the Obama Campaign (as if all the buttons and stickers I'd festooned myself with weren't enough of a dead give-away) and what came out of his mouth next sent shivers up my spine:

"I've been a lifelong Democrat, but you people had harrassed me with so many phone calls, stuff in the mail and knocks at my door that this year, I'm going to vote Republican."

This guy seemed royally pissed. I couldn't tell if he really was, or this was his way of sticking it to the Obama team. But there was a lot of venom in his voice. I apologized profusely for the interruptions and said that we had not meant to upset him or interrupt him. Because the canvassing hint on what to do at this particular door said, "Get them to vote!", I assumed this was a registered Democrat who hadn't voted in the last election or two. That would be consistent with what the man said to me.

What worries me is that we may be "carpet bombing" people with Lit-drops, door knocks, telephone calls, TV ads and US mail adverts. And this saturation may be creating something of a backlash among a segment of the voters.

Of course, I've had dozens of people tell me they were "voting with Obama all the way" and who thanked me profusely for walking around on his behalf, so I guess I'll stop with the Concern Trollishness right here.


There's only 1+ day left in this campaign. It's all about GOTV, GOTV, GOTV now!

VOTE and get everyone you know who is possibly sympathetic to the cause to vote as well. Use your phone, email, text-messaging, AIM, MySpace, Facebook and/or Twitter contacts to get your friends, co-workers, family, acquaintances, what-have-you to VOTE as well. Whatever you can do, please DO IT, NOW. Let's leave it all on the road.

Yes WE Can
Yes. WE. Can!

Thanks.

Originally posted to frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for helping GOTV in NH (n/t) (13+ / 0-)

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

    by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:33:12 PM PST

  •  I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueInBoston

    I think you have a very valid point. I know that there are people getting very ticked off that they are being over solicited. In NH.

    •  Happened in indiana too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frisco

      When I canvassed a couple of weeks ago, I got one "Undecided" voter who said she was overwhelmed with contacts, all the people who had stopped by and called. She "had enough information" but still was undecided.

      I marked her down as undecided still but wrote copious notes on the walk sheet to say to leave this person alone as she might be pushed over to the other side.

      •  Good on you! But I'm not sure the copious notes (0+ / 0-)

        ...actually "live" past the person doing the data entry into the computer system. Let's hope they do.

        "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

        by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 10:54:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I canvassed in Lebanon, NH a few weeks ago. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frisco

    It was fun. There was a lot of Obama support out there, but it's a fairly blue part of the state. I would love to go back to help out in these final days, but I have obligations here in NY and no money for transportation, so I'll have to content myself with phone-banking the swing states.

    I'm feeling really optimistic about Obama's and Shaheen's chances in New Hampshire. Keep up the hard work!

    "Don't think for a minute that power will concede without a fight. We have to work like our futures depend on it, because they do!" -Barack Obama

    by AtomikNY on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:43:52 PM PST

    •  Here's just a few of the license plates & states (0+ / 0-)

      ...I saw on the sign-in sheets this weekend: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia(!), Illinois(!), Michigan. I live just a few miles over the border from NH in north-central MA, so my little commute made me feel like a 'piker' in comparison to some of these folks!

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:48:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Over-solicitation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    extradish

    I'd like to echo your point on oversolicitation.  I walked Bedford, NH two weekends ago and some people told me that I was the 4th visit from Obama.  One man saw me start down his driveway and shouted 'will you people leave me the f--- alone!'.  He was listed as a Democrat we were to 'Persuade'.  Perhaps a Hillary voter??

    The woman running the canvassing op that day in Manchester told me that once someone is visited they are marked in the database and won't be visited again.  She thought that people complaining were probably being visited by McCain, Shea-Porter, Bradley, Shaheen, and Sununu canvassers as well.  Who know what is actually happening.

    I got the same feeling you did though ...

    •  I had one person tell me yesterday... (0+ / 0-)

      "Three people from your campaign have visited us in the last week - including one not more than one hour ago." And she had the lit right on her countertop to prove it. Now that's just REALLY-REALLY bad "carpetbombing".

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:50:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Data entry issues? (0+ / 0-)

        I wonder if they haven't been processing the entire sets of canvas paks each day b/c most volunteers head up to canvas and then split.  Perhaps over-zealous canvassers are knocking every door?  I really can't think of any good reason for this many visits.

  •  Don't you know that there is always going to be (0+ / 0-)

    a curmudgeon, that no matter WHAT you do, he won't like it.  "I don't like you kids knocking on my door bugging me".  

    Brush him off your shoulders.  There is not ONE person I know that is voting for Obama that is not REALLY excited to talk about it.  SO, people get some stuff.  Seriously, that means that Obama cares about their vote.  

    "My Momma always taught me to play by the rules, and if you don't that's called cheatin'." - Donna Brazile

    by jjmn on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 08:48:33 PM PST

  •  What's up with all the Obama/Sununu voters? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    obscuresportsquarterly
    •  The anti-Palin vote me thinks (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VitaminD
    •  At least one couple said they had a "personal" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      extradish, ETF

      ...run-in with Shaheen (from Saturday). And several said they preferred to "stick with Sununu". For one thing, Sununu has been running some very tough TV ads recently, directly linking Shaheen with George W. Bush's policies (amazing, but he does have vid of her saying she "stood with the president"); and another going after Jeanne on having tried to pass the first ever income tax in ("Live Free or Die") NH.

      I think Shaheen will pull this out, but I think there's a latent, strong vote for Sununu, especially in the more rural portions of the state and she's really going to need high turn-out in the southern and metro areas around Nashua, Concord, Manchester, Derry, Hanover, Lebanon, etc. and over toward the coast.

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 09:02:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  New Hampshire will go easily for Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VitaminD

    No question.  The funny thing is that while Al Gore managed to loose New Hampshire to George W. Bush in 2000, John Kerry won the state in 2004.  If Kerry could win NH in 2004, surely the energy should be in Obama's favor.  This isn't a red state.

    •  It was a bit of a "home field" for Kerry. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      extradish, VitaminD

      He's the Senator from the neighboring state and it's well known that his vacation home is in New Hampshire.

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 09:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm actually not surprised (0+ / 0-)

      that Gore lost NH and Kerry won it. Changing demographics and a New Englander running for president brought it (barely) blue in 04.

      I hope it will be easy to turn, and it probably will... Anyway, an Obama landslide in McCain's favorite state will be a nice twist of the dagger, so to speak, don't you think? :)

  •  I'm sure the canvassing is annoying... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frisco

    NH should be used to it...They are subjected to it every primary.  Still, I know it gets old.  Hopefully, these people will get into their polls and realize that they are not voting their pettiness but voting for a VERY major change in direction.  At least most of them

    "We're all working for the Pharaoh" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 09:11:38 PM PST

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