Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Has The Better Ground Game in Wisconsin: Republicans or Democrats? By Sara Rogers

Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change is running an unprecedented field operation in Wisconsin. Thousands of volunteers, a real focus on peer-to-peer contact and offices located in traditionally “red” counties are only a few of the ways that the campaign is sharing Sen. Obama’s vision for change to voters across the state.

More than 50 offices around the state serve as organizing locations for the thousands of volunteers, including more than 2,500 Obama Organizing Team members who donate at least 10 hours of their time each week. These offices are found in rural and traditionally Republican areas, many of which have never seen a Democratic campaign office and are constantly filled with eager volunteers making phone calls and picking up canvassing lists to knock on doors in their communities. People who can’t make it to offices are able to participate by printing out call lists at home or neighbor-to-neighbor canvassing lists from online databases that list undecided voters in the area.

Whatever the method, volunteers are talking to hundreds of thousands of doors, giving one-on-one attention to undecided voters, clearly explaining that Barack Obama is the only candidate who offers the real change America so desperately needs. This one-on-one contact echos what we in the labor movement have been emphasizing for the last couple of election cycles, knowing how incredibly effective it is to have face-to-face conversations at the worksite and in our communities.

The campaign is also relying heavily on peer-to-peer organizing, with volunteers reaching out to people who share their interests and talking about the choice in this election. Issues important to seniors, farmers, sportsmen, students, women, veterans, people of faith, and other groups within the state are being addressed on personal levels, showing an incredible commitment to talking to voters about the issues they care about most. All are included in Sen. Obama’s plans for America, and the Wisconsin ground troops are letting them know.

All of that organizing has set the stage for an incredible get out the vote (GOTV) effort around the state, which is beginning to ramp up for the final weeks of the campaign. Tens of thousands of shifts are being filled to make sure everyone who is able to vote can make it to the polls on or before Election Day. Wisconsin’s early vote has also begun, and the campaign is organizing events where voters can cast their ballots at their local clerk’s offices between now and Nov. 4.

On Election Day, look for this incredible grassroots organization to put Senator Obama over the top as Wisconsin issues a resounding call for change from the past eight years of failed Bush-McCain economic policies.

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