I've spent most of this summer training people to carry out the massive, unprecedented, voter contact program that is OFA Vote 2010. At last weekend's training - designed especially to support organizers doing Latino Vote Outreach - I laid out our strategy. I talked about how this election is going to be very close, especially for our key races in California. About the choice we face and how much is at stake.
And I talked about how we can win -- by changing who votes in midterm elections.
And because I have also spent most of the summer studying up on GOTV research, I know the best way to change who votes: personal contact. Block by block, door by door, voter by voter.
This weekend, OFA and the DCCC will be out talking to the voters who need to come out this fall, making a difference in close races across the country. But we can't do it without your help.
This Saturday, OFA is going to be doing what we do best: turn conventional political wisdom on its head. In 2008, the Obama campaign showed that a virtually all-volunteer organization, dedicated to personal contact with voters on the phones and at the doors, could do the impossible. We turned out millions of new voters who changed the face of the electorate and won an historic election.
In 68 days we have the chance to make history again. Because conventional political wisdom says those new voters won't come back for a midterm. I think that's wrong. I think those voters will come back, but only if we reach out to them block by block, door by door, person to person on the phone. Just like we did before.
On Saturday and Sunday, Organizing for America will be putting that to the test and going door to door across California and across the country. OFA has as usual set an absurdly high goal of knocking 200,000 doors nationwide on behalf of Democratic candidates. The DCCC is also going to be on the ground this weekend, working to keep our majority and help meet the 200,000 door goal.
Senator Boxer, who we need to keep this fall, will be kicking us off in person at the Oakland office. I will be there handing out canvass packets and taking one out myself, because that is how we are going to win.
But we need your help. Yesterday Nate Silver posted a Senate forecast showing that this Senate seat is a tough but winnable fight - and critical to keeping a Democratic majority.
And there are many other races in California and other places across the country where a strong field program could make the difference between winning and losing. And where the Obama "surge" voters are the key to victory.
You can sign up to join us in Oakland here:
RSVP here for the canvass kickoff with Barbara Boxer
We will have CD-33 Congressional candidate Karen Bass kicking off the OFA
canvass in Crenshaw/Leimert Park.
RSVP here for the canvass kickoff with Karen Bass.
Or to sign up for a canvass anywhere else in California, including key Congressional districts in Northern and Southern California:
Read more about our California events on the OFA California blog.
As OFA Deputy Director Jeremy Bird explained:
This fall, there's a lot at stake.
For two years, the Republicans have said "no" over and over to legislation that would help Americans -- no to extending unemployment benefits, no to creating jobs, no to the Recovery Act.
But that's not enough -- if the Republicans take back Congress, they've pledged to repeal health insurance reform and pursue policies that would end Social Security and Medicare as we know them.
They're convening in Washington, D.C., with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin this weekend. Palin has said that the plan for keeping taxes low for the middle class so they can stimulate the economy, while repealing fiscally irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, is "idiotic." And Beck said last week of some of those who are unemployed, "you'd be ashamed to call them Americans."
These are the folks that the Republican party draws its energy and ideas from. But we have a much better source -- you.
That's why, this weekend, OFA volunteers are going door to door across the country to make sure your voice is heard.
I've been writing a lot about Vote 2010 - including how we gota download of the strategy straight from David Plouffe last month:
Conventional wisdom says that the voters who turned out for Barack Obama in 2008 won't come back this fall. After all, those first time 08 voters registered and voted because Obama was on the ballot. Typical midterm voters -- and many of those "likely voter" models you see reflected in polls right now -- don't tend to overlap with this "Obama surge" vote.
Who are those new voters that turned out in 08 and pushed Barack Obama over the top? They are predominantly young, and a large proportion are African-American and Latino voters, according to post-election reports.
These folks are the ones who can make a difference in close elections this fall, but only if we can reach them and turn them out. OFA created the Vote 2010 program to do just that:
More than 15 milllion Americans cast their vote for the first time in 2008. But history shows participation often falls off in midterm elections. New first time voters vote at only half the rate of regular voters. But in 2010 we have a chance to re-connect with millions of Americans who could make the difference in close races across the country.
So that's it - pretty simple. Get those first time 08 voters back to the polls, and register and turn out as many more new voters as possible. And we make history again.
Past experience says those first time voters we brought to the polls in 2008 won't turn out again. Pundits tell us those young voters and African-American and Latino voters who turned out for Barack Obama won't vote in the midterms. But our phone calls and door knocks can bring them back.
We have less than 70 days to make a difference. I hope you will join me.
I am a volunteer with Organizing for America in California. When I write here I speak for myself and not for the organization. My diaries, and all the words in them, are my own.