I hang signs, put stickers on the car. My Obama magnets are on the front door and the fridge. I did some cold calls for my County Democratic committee during the 2008 election, and talk a good game with the folks at my local service club and golf course...but I've never gone around town and participated in face-to-face visits with local voters until the past month.
A few things changed this time around, and not just on the national level. Our county committee is actually fielding some candidates for local offices. The Missouri 4th district race has a dandy candidate in Teresa Hensley, who is running a great race against Vicky Hartzler. In my opinion, the Missouri Democratic Party has an outstanding slate of candidates, and I'm enthusiastic about all of them. Plus, there's that pesky username of mine...so, why sit back in a red county and let the same old result take place?
As if on cue, it was time to put up or shut up. Amy, a volunteer for the McCaskill campaign, is based in a nearby community through the last 60 days of the race. When she called, I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to walk the streets of my adopted town of 20 years....but they weren't getting any volunteers, and I wasn't happy with that.
Long story short...two assignments, about 85-90 doors. Not a phenomenal number, but a lot of refreshing conversations and a surprising number of Claire supporters. What surprised me most were the people who needed a little reminder about Todd Akin, the other guy in the race. My favorite exchange? "I'd like to visit with you about Claire McCaskill." "Well, I'm not sure about her." "Are you leaning toward Akin?" "Oh, hell no, that ain't gonna happen...Claire's got my vote!"
Another positive sign for me were the visits I wasn't asked to make--lots of names of friends and colleagues who are strong for McCaskill were missing from the list. I'm pleased to find out that there is such strong support here.
If you haven't made the effort to call, visit, or check in with potential voters, please take some time to do so. It'll be worth the effort.