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I checked the signup list, we had around 55 signups and who knew how many walk ins we would get. I was ready for today, the first day of GOTV for our neighbor state Nevada. California was in the bag for Obama so us Democrats would help the President by calling voters in Nevada. It was the first day of early voting so we would encourage Democrats to vote early (and sway a few undecided voters along the way.) I packed up my backpack and headed off to the campaign office.
Here are a few sentences about myself: I am an 18 year old Campaign Fellow with the Obama Campaign and I am going to write about my experience today. I was at a large phonebank this Saturday the 20th at the San Rafael Obama office in California. We are 15 miles north of the city. I would be going around helping volunteers make calls from the computers. As I walked in, I saw our great greeter A. who signed me in and gave me my nametag. I raced to the computer area to show volunteers how to use it.
I had printed some flyers of guides for making computer calls because it was complicated and people always had questions. I was glad however to see some experienced callers there if I need backup. The computers were already all being used and the callers were excited. I had to set up extra laptops nearby because not only did more callers arrive, they wanted to be far away from the noise. Our office is 13,000 sq. ft and is an old furniture store so we had lots of room for our volunteers. Our Marin Democratic office in 2008 was much smaller and people were crammed together making calls.
(to protect anonymity, I am using the first letter of the person’s name if I did not ask the person about appearing in this post.)
Then a small wave of people came in and I quickly set them up on the computer after I brought in the new laptops. I also had time to listen to the conversations and I listened in to one conversation with a volunteer coordinator Roberta who is very persuasive and a good caller. She talked to a Romney leaning voter who liked Romney because Romney was a successful businessman.
Roberta replied, “Government is not a business and Romney did not run a business, he ran a hedge fund. The job of corporations is to make money, that’s not the Government’s job.”
Then the voter said he was worried about far left Democrats like Ruth Bader Ginsberg who he said was appointed by Reagan.
Roberta then talked about how some far left Progressives think Obama is conservative and that a conservative Supreme Court would mean more Citizens United and no more Roe v. Wade. Roberta also talked about a far right woman she talked to. This woman Roberta spoke to said that Democrats WON control of the House in 2010 and that Obama’s birth certificate was a clear fake.
By the end of the call, Roberta said she had persuaded him to be at least undecided.
Then along came one of my favorite volunteers, her name is C. and she is very energetic and cheerful. She is also very persuasive and has very lively conversations with voters. Here are a few of them:
The voter said as a Christian, she could not back Obama because of abortion.
C: “Obama does not support abortion; he wants to give women a voice so they can decide. I guarantee Jesus would support Obama.”
C had another great conversation.
Undecided voter: “I’m undecided.”
C: “Oh, what issues are important to you? I’d love to talk about it.”
C: “Obama has had a difficult time, when he got in office; he was losing about a million jobs a month. We are now gaining jobs; he’s added about 4 million or so as President.”
Undecided voter: “Anything specific?”
C: “Oh, he saved and created lots of jobs with Ford and Chrysler. Things may not be all back but he is working really hard to get there.” I did not hear the rest of the conversation after that because a volunteer called me over but C later told me she persuaded him.
C also had a bell and whenever she got an Obama supporter on the phone, she would ring it and say, “Fantastic!” She created a very positive vibe in the office and seemed to excite us to keep calling. A few volunteers complained about the bell but I liked it because I knew that we were finding Obama supporters. She also had a great question she asked every undecided voter, “Tell me one thing Romney can do for you that Obama has not done.”
There were many great calls too. We found many voters who already voted early (for Obama,) and one man said he waited in line for an hour and that everyone else seemed to be Obama supporters. A 70 year old woman we called already voted for Obama too and brought her whole family. We even found a 90 year old woman who said, “My husband is 99 and he is voting for Obama!”
I had to set up new volunteers with calling voters online but I finally found time to make a few calls of my own.
I got a few answers. I talked to an Obama supporter near my age who said he wanted to vote on election day because it was his first Presidential election he can vote in which I understood (it’s my first Presidential election I can vote in too.) My favorite call was with a great woman named T.
Me: “Hi, I’m a volunteer with the Obama grassroots team, do you plan to vote for President O…”
T: “You’re the 6th person today who called about that. Yes, I’m voting for Obama, yes I’ll vote early and yes, I have a ballot.”
Me: “I’m sorry if we called too much but other groups like Move On the Obama campaign doesn’t communicate with make calls too."
T: “Oh, its okay, keep it up. I’ve talked to my neighbors, my grandkids, my relatives, my kids, my friends, their friends and my in-laws. They are voting for Obama.”
I checked in to see when she planned to early which was next week. I really hoped to get her to volunteer with her neighborhood team but she was too busy with other things (which may include talking to her whole street about Obama.)
Finally I left to head home but I felt so fired up (and ready to go again on Sunday!)
Even better news, the first early voting numbers are in and Obama is crushing Romney!
"UPDATE: Democrats also decisively defeated Republicans in first round of absentee ballots, usually a GOP strength, posted in Clark County: 8,976-7,448, or 46-38. So raw number in Clark so far: Dems, 27,364-17,036. That's 52-32, or 5 points above the registration edge."-Jon Ralston article.
We can keep this up, help make calls to Nevada by going here: https://call.barackobama.com/...
We have been calling voters in Nevada who say they have been receiving too many calls from the campaigns. Even if people are a bit annoyed by the calls, this means our ground game is doing its job. We have been finding even more people who have already voted.