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« Fair Trade | Main | The Tortured Flame »

April 07, 2008

Comments

peter

John, how about a hat tip to mainly Obama volunteers here. Just to be fair.

John Morgan

I don't think you can contribute all of this to the Obama campaign. Election services offices alla cross the Commonwealth were deluged with people changing their registrations on their own. Hillary campaign offices were also filled with those looking to register. Yes, the Obama campaign launched an aggressive voter registration drive but I saw them putting many efforts into strong Republican areas so I'm not at all sure how effective that was.

Many Republican switched registrations because their own nomination process is over and they want to influence who the Democratic nominee will be. I've heard of some planning on voting for Obama because they think he will be easier to beat based on the race issue. These voters are going to switch back to the GOP right after the primary so I'm not sure we can pat ourselves on the backs too aggressively until we see how many we actually keep.

peter

I guess, not ht... Ok, then. :)

John Morgan

Some of the areas the Obama volunteers were working were going to produce more Republican voter reg forms than Democratic. Since the law requires voter registration drives to register anyone who asks regardless of their Party affiliation desire I suspect some of these efforts were counterproductive. They certainly weren't smart. The Obama campaign was focused only on the numbers, the goals the campaign dictated each county produce. This was foolish.

They should have targeted the precise locations likely to produce their voters based on demographics. That isn't what I saw happen.

peter

Well, I had a different experience. I canvassed in Coatsville, in its AA pocket. The area was full with O-volunteers. At some point, its main street, LIncoln Ave (I believe), had a volunteer on every second corner. It was crowded. Regestering 32 people, there was only 1 Republican who switched. Others were newly registered. I did see a few Hillary supporters who politely shut their door in my face, while only one other began ranting for 15 minutes how Obama is not American.

John Morgan

I'd expect Coatesville to have a lot of Obama volunteers. The town has a large African American population, good demographics for Obama. Northern Berks County, on the other hand, places like Albany, Perry and Windsor Townships, don't. Why were Obama volunteers doing voter registration there?

Kevin

The Obama campaign is largely responsible for these efforts. They ran radio ads, they stood at the county boards of elections after closing time with stamps, and they had their foot soldiers out on the streets knocking on doors registering lots of new Democrats. You should really give credit when it's due. I can't believe you think it was a foolish campaign. It seems everyone is traumatized by Rush's "Operation Chaos." Clinton and Obama supporters both think Republicans are switching over to deep-six their candidate, but the wingnuts can't decide which one to deep-six. I wish people weren't so afraid of the dittoheads.

Kevin

I'd also like to add that half of these additions come from completely new voters. New registrants went 3-1 Democrat. I think that's quite an accomplishment. When you walk around registering voters covered in Obama t-shirts and such, it's unlikely that Republicans will even talk to you. They run away, and you can't register them anyway.
I've met so many progressives walking the streets registering Democrats. You can't even recognize a good thing when it happens.

John Morgan

I'm not basing my opinion on Rush or anyone else but on my own conversations with people, including many I know personally. Some of this is conversations I've overheard from people waiting to get into events, etc. When I cover these events I ask people in attendance why they came, who they are supporting and why.

John Morgan

Kevin, that's why many businesses asked the Obama voter reg people to leave: they were covered in Obama stuff. Businesses won't let you do voter reg unless it's bipartisan, for the most part. They might have done much better if they'd listened to advice about this. I went to cover one such event and discovered they hadn't been allowed in. This was after I told the organizer they couldn't be partisan or for a specific candidate while doing these at businesses.

Kevin

There's no reason that voter registration people have to stand inside a store. Many were allowed to do voter registration outside supermarkets on the sidewalk. Others picked busy street corners or went canvassing. It's easy to criticize, but it's harder register thousands of new Democrats. The Clinton campaign, by comparison, didn't start their registration drive until 2 days before the deadline. And here, where I live, voter registration was not a top priority for the Clinton campaign. The Obama office basically ran a partisan voter registration drive until the deadline.

Kevin

One more fact. Not a single county registered more Republicans than Democrats in the month of March - not even conservative strongholds like Blair, Lancaster, and Snyder counties.

John Morgan

I know of no supermarket which will allow partisan voter registration. What's more, the law requires those doing voter registration to register anyone who expresses an interest in filling out a form regardless of Party affiliation.

Kevin

I know that about state law. We did register some Republicans. And we were allowed to stand in front of supermarkets. The sidewalk in front of supermarkets is not owned by them. Fine. Here in Centre county we targeted students, because they are a much better demographic for Democrats. It was a targeted drive.

John Morgan

Colleges and universities are where the Obama volunteers needed to be. Supermarkets here are all in shopping centers. I know of few which are not and I used to work in the food industry and have been in hundreds of supermarkets. I know of few which have public sidewalks in front, those few remaining are dinosaurs. Businesses don't want anything that might offend customers and political activity always offends someone unless it is clearly nonpartisan. Few businesses open to the public will risk losing customers by having any candidate's volunteers openly meeting or organizing at their sites.

Kevin

And we were there. The Clinton campaign was not. They consciously avoided the student voter registration drive. I'm sure that was great for the Clinton campaign, but it was not so great for the Democratic party.

John Morgan

Everyone who does voter reg tries to target their demographics, that's the way it works, supposedly.

Joyful Alternative

I've just moved within Cumberland County (which would be on your very Republican list if it were a little longer) from a red township to a really red township, the one we saw as hopeless when we were working on a State House campaign. The only yard signs around here are Obama.

We have two Obama offices in Cumberland County.

EJ

I volunteered for Obama in Delaware County, and except for TWO lawn signs . . . HRC was MIA. We registered MANY DEMS for your party, and a statistically insignificant number into the GOP.

SO . . . sure don't contribute it ALL to Obama, but in Delaware County it was as close as you could get to ALL Obama.

Sestak's 7th CD is looking good to split 4 delegates to 3 for Obama!

Are you surprised with these observations/developments on the ground?

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