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What Women Want [rdbrewer] | Main | Rick Sanchez Tossed From CNN
October 01, 2010

Getting off the Couch [someone]

The election is a month away.

Now it's tempting, with all the reports of a "wave", "tsunami", unprecedented poll numbers, etc. to think that the thing will just win itself. But, as CNN-controller Winston Wolf put it: let's not start eating each others' lox quite yet.

Remember, the other side cheats. Particularly where they are strong -- which is where much of the action this year is going to be -- they're going to use every trick they have to cling to the seats they can. On the flip side, this is a chance to end long-lived power bases, destroy their bench (yes, down-ticket races matter -- this is where the next bunch of federal and statewide candidates get groomed), and hear the lamentations of their women. A wave doesn't mean fewer close races, it means races that we would have lost easily are now close and winnable. And we want to win every single one of them. The close races? We need unstealable blowouts.

There are five weekends until Election Day. (Of course, in early voting states the polls may already have opened!) That's a lot of chances to help get out the vote. Whats and hows below the cut.

Making calls don't involve leaving the house, and for the shut-in pr0n addicts who read this blog, the official GOP call from your house thing below is easy enough. But calls don't have nearly the effectiveness of knocking on doors.

It's really not hard and actually fun, as the morons I've convinced to help do this in the last several cycles can attest. Remember: you're not there to convince people, though some residents may want to engage you in conversation. You're contacting folks already identified through voting history/lifestyle voodoo to be probably sympathetic and creating social pressure to vote for the good guys. Many (most, this year) may already be fired up to vote against the Dems, but every vote counts -- even the lazy fence-sitter's. And getting GOP voters more fired up -- reminding them that they aren't the only ones itching to kick the donk out of office, and soon -- encourages *them* to spread the social pressure further through their circles, etc. It works.

So, first step: Contact your local campaign. The Concord Project site seems to have every state's candidate info linked (click "My State"), so go there. If there's a big statewide race (Governor or US Senate) in your state this year, contact them, since they're probably coordinating GOTV for/with all the lower-down campaigns too. Otherwise, contact the local House GOP campaign (unless that's a guaranteed win incumbent -- then you might want to look for a more competitive district). Say you want to help with GOTV and ask them where you can go and when -- they know where they need you. Just do one day this weekend or next week if you want to get a feel for it before committing to more. It's actually addictive.

Second step: Take a shower. De-louse (very important, for Ewoks). Pop a mint to hide the remnants of your weeklong bender. Wear pants. And a shirt. Show up at campaign HQ sober and on time. I know, this may be the most difficult part for morons.

Third step: Get your stuff and go. You'll usually get a walk sheet (not sure if the transition to smartphone apps has occurred yet) and Google Maps printout with the target houses for a particular neighborhood (including the names), plus piles of literature (one piece per packet per major candidate on the ticket) to leave if no one is home. You may also get a mini-script, but they're pretty much all the same: you ask politely for the person on your sheet, tell them on whose behalf you're walking (the candidates, that is) and either just remind them to vote on Nov. 2 or answer a few yes/no questions (generally "are you voting for X" stuff for polling purposes). Easy stuff -- seriously. The only hard part may be juggling the packets of flyers with the clipboard where you find the addresses/mark the answers.

(Note that if you're very socially phobic you can probably offer to just drive someone else around who does all the knocking and talking, since folks often do doors in pairs. But it's not that hard to talk anyway.)

Fourth step: Enjoy yourself. There's a great energy to these things, and on the campaign side you may meet some excellent conservative folks who've also been forced by Obama to get into campaign stuff. At the doors, typically a couple of people are weird, almost all are polite and nice even if they're not voting for your guy, a bunch are as fired up as you are (and often a blast to talk to), and some have just been dying for some affirmation that they're *not* the only non-brainwashed people in their world. Talking to the latter is really gratifying even on its own. Plus, win or lose (and this year, it's going to be win), you know you're doing your part.

Once you get a taste of retail politics, you may get an itch to do more advanced stuff like becoming a Precinct Committeeman, starting your own grassroots group, or even running for local office yourself. But first things first. Crush the Dems in November.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:16 PM

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