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President Obama casts his early ballot, 2012
The Obama campaign's final blogger call stressed the strength of, and the campaign's gratitude for, its massive volunteer operation—and that the strength of this field operation is what will carry President Barack Obama to victory.

During the final days of the campaign, volunteers have signed up for nearly 700,000 shifts working out of thousands of hyperlocal staging areas. Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and national field director Jeremy Bird identified the three big tasks for the field program as being to expand the electorate, persuade undecided voters, and turn out supporters, and, according to Cutter, "On all three fronts we've blown away the most optimistic expectations." It's for that reason that Cutter expressed confidence about the president's reelection, though she also stressed that the campaign was taking nothing for granted and that the hard work would continue as long as the polls were open.

The Obama campaign has registered nearly 1.8 million new voters, almost twice as many as in 2008, and those voters have been turning out for early voting in battleground states like North Carolina. Throughout, the field campaign has emphasized personal, local contact, keeping volunteers in their own communities having one-on-one conversations with newly registered voters, undecided voters, and sporadic voters who need to be motivated to get to the polls.

Cutter had some messages for Obama supporters (beyond, of course, voting and volunteering): First, remember that any voter who is in line before polling places are scheduled to close is entitled to vote. If you're in line as poll closing times arrive, stay in line.

Second, as you wait for election returns to begin coming in, remember the early vote and stay calm. Election day always features anecdotal reporting comparing turnout in Republican and Democratic strongholds and often includes leaked, unweighted exit polls as well. Because the Obama campaign has worked so hard to bank early votes, especially from new voters and those who don't vote in every election, those votes may not be reflected in leaked exit polling. So stay calm. The GOTV operation has done what it was supposed to do. Lots of votes are in the bag. If the early reporting doesn't keep up with this new early vote-driven reality, the Obama campaign is confident that everything needed to ensure victory has happened, is happening, and will keep happening.

Now, if you're not among those who have voted: Go vote.

Click "continue reading" for extended notes from the call.

These are my notes taken during the call; they are as closely paraphrased as my typing speed permitted, and I've tried to indicate where I missed anything substantial, though I believe on this call much of what I missed was iterations of talking points I did capture elsewhere in the notes.

Stephanie Cutter: You've been working around the clock and I know we've got a lot more work ahead in the next 36 hours. Thanks for being out there talking directly to voters about president's vision and plan, rallying supporters for final push, etc.

We're not taking anything for granted, not resting until race is called with a decisive victory for the president.  All of the key surrogates—the Obamas, the Bidens, President Clinton, are on the campaign trail for the final push. Today the president started with a rally in Madison with Bruce Springsteen, he's now in Columbus with Springsteen and Jay-Z. He'll do a close-out rally tonight in Iowa where it sort of all began with the primary victory four and a half years ago.

One day out, volunteers are working hard. We're talking a lot about our volunteer operation. That operation is why we believe the president will win 270 electoral votes tomorrow. I want to dive deeper and explain what we're doing and why we're doing it so well.

Saturday morning, 5,177 staging locations in all the battleground states began to execute our ground game. These staging locations are more localized versions of field offices. From these hyperlocal Obama hubs, volunteers signed up for nearly 700,000 shifts to get out the vote over the final four days, and that number is growing by the minute. Volunteer-led GOTV staging locations embody what the campaign is all about. Our neighborhood team leaders have been working in their areas for months if not years. Jim Messina has told a story of a woman telling people in her community that she'd been there for years and then the Romney campaign just showed up recently.

The field program has three big tasks:
Expanding the electorate
Persuading undecided voters
Turning out supporters

On all three fronts we've blown away the most optimistic expectations.

Jeremy Bird
Thanks for everything you've done. You guys hold a stake in the organization. On the things Stephanie identified:

Registering new voters—We've registered nearly 1.8 million voters in key battleground states, almost double the 2008 number. The great thing is they're already turning out. Almost 30 percent have already voted in six key early vote states. In North Carolina for example, nearly 140,000 new voters have already voted.

Persuading undecided voters—We've had millions of conversations with persuadable voters, in combination with targeted digital advertising, doing digital follow-up with an email after a conversation at the door, following up on the issue they said they cared most about. We've made more than 125 million personal phone calls or door knocks. These are not robocalls or mailers, they're actual personal outreach from volunteer. Many campaigns favor quantity over quality, but we don't look at it that way. Our goal is to make a difference, to do it at the local level with local volunteers who have ownership of the campaign and what they're doing. We've had the largest and most sophisticated training effort, of both staff and volunteers and held trainings all across the country.

Turning out supporters—Thanks to early voting we've been able to be turning out supporters for over a month in states like Iowa. We've focused on turning out the people least likely to vote, so we need to make sure to get them information about when and where to vote. Non-midterm-voting Democrats are outpacing Republicans in every state with early voting and partisan registration. The math is clear, our opponent is losing among early voters in nearly every public poll. He would have to win the election day vote by big margins across these states. And our volunteers will log into our reporting system and open GOTV hubs. They're not just driving miles to an office and being handed a headset and told to make calls. They're going to be knocking on the doors of people they registered to vote or persuaded to vote, and then directing them to their local polling places that they're familiar with from living there. This is a big difference between the campaigns.

Stephanie Cutter: We've come a long way on the journey. We have work left to do, we're pleased with where we are but not taking anything for granted. We have 24-36 hours to go before we can rest.

Please help us spread the word about how to vote. [She identified as the best source of information, but we've seen reports of problems with its information about polling locations.]

We're making sure everyone knows as long as they're in line when the polls are scheduled to close, they can still vote. Stay in line and you can vote. This is critical.

Keep calm and tweet on. Early voting shows that giving people more and better opportunities to express themselves is good. Republicans may have saved the lion's share of their vote for election day, but we're confident that won't overcome the fact that we've banked the votes we need to win. So don't panic about reporting of heavy voting in Republican areas or leaked exit polls that don't take this into account.

Question from Chris Savage: What happens to OFA after the election, to this structure you've built?

Jeremy Bird: [Opened by thanking Chris for his writing and his volunteering] We don't know the details but we know this: my first boss in politics was on a campaign that spent millions, lost, and left nothing behind. We've always built our campaign differently from that and we're going to continue. Will we leave a generation of people like JFK that go on to run for office? I don't know, but one thing I know for sure is we will leave a generation of organizers, and we're going to make sure we help facilitate that one way or another.

Question from Jeff Simpson: Where will the president and vice president be watching election results? Will there be a gathering like four years ago?

Jeremy Bird: They'll both be here in Chicago. I don't know where they'll be watching but the president will be giving a speech at the McCormick center. Across the country people will be gathering in staging locations.

Stephanie Cutter: The president will be watching at home, then come over to join us toward the end of the results coming in.

Question from Amanda Terkel: With the long lines for early voting, how concerned are you about situations like this on election day? Do you have a system to monitor/deal with problems?

Jeremy Bird: If you're talking about an enthusiasm gap, look no further than those lines in Florida and Ohio. Clearly we're doing everything we can to alleviate those lines and we have folks on the ground with entertainment. One good thing is there are fewer voters left to vote on election day which in 2008 really helped. There will still be lines, and we have a great legal team on the ground as well as a great field team to make sure people are kept in line and alert us to any problems.

Stephanie Cutter: A large portion of the vote in these states is in. In Florida about 49 percent of the ballots expected are in, and we expect it to go up. That percentage was higher in 2008, but we had more early voting days then. In Iowa about 40 percent have already voted. Colorado is almost up to 70 percent, we think. In Nevada it's well over 60 percent. In Ohio in 2008 it was 30 percent; we think it will be 35 percent this time. These results are a big investment on our part. All this goes back to my warning about the need to stay calm throughout the day, so if things leak out that aren't validated or weighted, please stay calm. You need to add early vote tabs into that.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Remember, You Can Still Make Phone Calls (18+ / 0-)

    ... until (almost) polls close today on the West Coast.  From my experiences in various Presidential and other political campaigns, last-minute phone calls matter. Some voters just need a little push and encouragement.

    Good luck to President Obama, Vice President Biden, and all the other Democratic candidates on Election Night.

    Online/Remote/Virtual Phone Banking Links for Election 2012

    Phone Banking Guidelines - Please read this.

    Our list is targeted at available resources that allow, for example, Californians to phone bank for close races in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and other battleground states even when online phone banking is not provided by the campaigns. The new tool is remote/virtual phone banking.

    Many campaigns don't have online phone banking like you might have experienced in the past for the Obama-Biden Campaign, which is one click away to a script and list of voters. Please contact the following Democratic campaigns that use a variety of alternative resources including Facebook applications and dedicated software.  Volunteers can log on from inside or outside the state or Congressional District.  Some campaigns will email PDFs of names and numbers to interested political activists from all over the country. Read the directions carefully for each campaign.

    Let's work hard for the next few days and on to victory on November 6th!

    Call out the vote!  Sign up to call voters from home for bold progressives like Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren between now and election day.

    Click here to sign up!

    DFA's Dialer is set up for supporting progressive candidates from your home.

    Click onto tab "MAKE CALLS" on the top of page.  If registered at site, it will take you to phone banking page that has the script and list of names to call.  

    If not registered, it asks you to register.

    Sign up at the DCCC volunteer page to make calls from home.  Complete a short form with your email, first name, and other optional information (last name, city, zip, state, and phone) and then choose the checkbox by "Call voters from home."

    A DCCC staffer will make contact via email to explain the process and to register you.  Click this link for more details.

    • United States Senate

     - Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) - Register at her website with name, email address, and password.  After you register, you can make phone calls for her from out-of-state, similar to President Obama's phone banking set up.
     - Tim Kaine (D-VA) - Click this link to make phone calls.
     - Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) - Contact Lauren Peters at 202-997-6642 or and she will set you up for their online phone bank.

    • United States House of Representatives

    The Speaker's gavel belongs in Nancy Pelosi's hand.  Work hard to make it happen!

     - Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) - Only option for virtual phone banking is via the DCCC (if Sinema is targeted for their support).
     - Ami Bera (CA-07) - Call 916-670-1864 or sign up at this link.
     - Jose Hernandez (CA-10) - Email Nick at to learn how to register and login to the system.
     - Raul Ruiz (CA-36) - Only option for virtual phone banking is via the DCCC. (if Ruiz is targeted for their support)
     - Scott Peters (CA-52) - Contact Kate Lyon at or 858-715-1369.
     - Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) - Call or email Matt at 203-716-1669/ to be registered for phone banking Sat 11/3 through Tues 11/6.
     - Al Lawson (FL-02) - Email and request a PDF with the names and phone numbers of people to call.
     - Alan Grayson (FL-09) - Click this link to do phone banking for the campaign.  It is called "Call for Grayson."
     - Val Demings (FL-10) - Email Brian at and request phone lists.
     - Patrick Murphy (FL-18) - Go to this link for immediate registration and login to do virtual phone banking.
     - Lois Frankel (FL-22) - Click this link to create account.
     - Joe Garcia (FL-26) - Email Franco at to sign up to make calls starting now through the election and/or for a major DFA call session on Th. Nov. 1. (Spanish speakers are especially welcome)
     - Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) - Only option for virtual phone banking is via the DCCC. (if Duckworth is targeted for their support)
     - David Gill (IL-13) - Email Meagan at
     - Wanda Rohl (IL-16) - Click on this link - - and choose a county. In the "name" field type in "Daily Kos" and then supply your email as instructed, and someone will get in touch with you.
     - David Crooks (IN-08) - Call Matt at 574-807-2576 or email him at
     - Gary McDowell (MI-01) - Call Matt at 203-710-9454.
     - Mike Obermueller (MN-02) - Call Nathan at 952-239-0531 or email him at
     - Jim Graves (MN-06) - Call 320-252-4446 or email
     - Kim Gillan (MT-AL) - Call 406-694-4100 or email for a list of names and numbers to contact.
     - Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) - Email John at or call 603-225-3327.
     - Shelley Adler (NJ-03) - Email or call 856-574-4178.
     - Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) - Call 505-554-1623.
     - Mark Murphy (NY-11) - Email or call 718-273-0424.
     - Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) - Follow this link to sign up for calling from home.
     - Julian Schreibman (NY-19) - Call Erica at 845-765-9494.
     - Pam Gulleson (ND-AL) - Call Luke Quandt at 701-566-7343.
     - John Oceguera (NV-03) - Email Jonathan at
     - Betty Sue Sutton (OH-16) - Contact Cayti at 440-842-4227 or
     - Manan Trivedi (PA-06) - Email or call 610-621-2366.
     - George Badey (PA-07) - Call Tim Brown at  484-432-6438 or email him at
     - Kathy Boockvar (PA-08) - Call Brian at 267-544-9224; there is a coordinated GOTV dry run with OFA this weekend.
     - Eric Stewart (TN-04) - Call 931-548-6831; email; or go to this link.
     - Suzan DelBene (WA-01) - Email for joining the GOTV phone banking, with set days and times.
     - Rob Zerban (WI-01) - Go to this link and help defeat Paul Ryan twice!
     - Jamie Wall (WI-08) - Call Ben Gardner at 920-737-2971 or email him at

    Our GOTV Blogathon team members are Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Onomastic, JekyllnHyde, boatsie, peregrine kate, ShoshannaD, rb137, and adviser Meteor Blades.

  •  Add ACTION link to GOTV. (7+ / 0-)

    Pick a shift, work at your own pace using your home computer and phone. VERY EASY. It's FREE, too:

    Call out the Vote:

    GOTV. Progressives. Phonebanking from home.

    Add to the script:

    If you have any questions or problems to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or use your smartphone at

  •  Attention Swing Staters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueJessamine, 4Freedom, annieli, a2nite

    Unleash the dogs of war.

  •  I voted early! (12+ / 0-)


    "the Devil made me buy this dress!" Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones

    by BlueJessamine on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:24:12 AM PST

  •  see Seal Team Six on NatGeoTV and GOTV! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, cany

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:26:28 AM PST

  •  We voted! (6+ / 0-)


    (The nice poll worker gave us a handful of ballot receipts that people had tossed.)

  •  Via Politico (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Sophie Amrain, side pocket, a2nite
    @GlennThrush: The Romney campaign now saying internals attributed to their pollster Neil Newhouse showing Mitt up in Ohio, tied in WI, PA "are incorrect"

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:30:16 AM PST

  •  All activists groups will have a job starting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gezellig, Glen The Plumber, a2nite

    tomorrow, which is to help get the truth out there about global warming, health care, the economy and other issues vital to most American's lives.

    We need to turn low information voters into informed, motivated voters that understand the stakes of what is involved in every election. We can't have a repeat of 2008. That was a failure in communications.

    What we are up against is a dumbed down electorate and a controlled, corporatized media. What we have going for us is the best interests of the majority and the truth.

    If we continue LTE campaigns and truth campaigns  on call-in shows on media, if we continue our discussions with family, friends and co-workers, we can get more truth and less disinformation into the public domain.

    That is what I see as our post-election imperative. No more 2008 electoral disasters. Let's spread the Blue from sea to shining sea.

    There are many adoptable cats and dogs being rescued around the country. You can save a life by adopting one.

    by 4Freedom on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:34:00 AM PST

  •  I've been supremely confident but (0+ / 0-)

    This makes me nervous. Between this "don't trust the exit polls"  thing to Biden in Ohio to that leaked ev story that had Romney up a lot in Ohio.  Getting bad 2004 vibes. Stupid I know but there it is.

  •  Voted for Obama in FL (0+ / 0-)

    Not a very enthused vote, but its done.

  •  Delaware County, PA: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, fou

    They asked the person in front of me for ID; I piped up and said 'he doesn't have to show any ID!'  The lady (a Democrat) said 'we're supposed to ask.'

    Make of it what you will.  At another locaion, no asking was even done.

    At my polling place, another (assumed) Democrat said a lot of first-time voters are coming out.

    They said it's been pretty busy there.

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

    Number 632 at my polling place in Milwaukee County as of 11:20 AM.  I think I was 922 when I voted at 430PM in the special election for Governor, so we are drastically outpacing that disappointment (I live on the Eastside of MKE)

  •  Voted no prob in my small East TN county (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, SneakySnu

    Not a single campaign sign anywhere -- something I've never see in the 12 years I've voted here -- and mine was the ONLY car with a political bumpersticker on it. Our party chair did have to have the cops evict a nutjob Teahadist from the courthouse parking lot, TWICE.

    I voted on a Hart eSlate DRE without paper backup.

    If I lived in a swing state with hours-long lines, I'd happily spend the day ferrying food and drinks to people waiting in line, buying bunny slippers for people whose high-heels are killing them, etc.

    I am kinda freaked out by all the reports of voting irregularities, and all I want to see tonight is 271 EC votes.

    Fingers and toes crossed, prayer feathers deployed, Allah beseeched.

    !! Four more years !!

    by raincrow on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:54:56 AM PST

  •  In the immortal words of (0+ / 0-)

    William Claude "WC" Fields: "Vote early and vote often!"

    /snark (labeled for those too stressed to find their sense of humor).

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 09:58:47 AM PST

  •  I voted at about 12:15! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Eastlake 2C (Ohio).  The election judge said they had a long line at first, but slowed to a steady stream with some rushes for good measure.  She said there were tons of absentee ballots requested.  This is a heavy Dem precinct.

    It never felt so good to vote.

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