The time I have been spending with this blog lately has been spotty and it will become even-more spotty in the next several months. My wife and I are working [volunteering] for the Obama reelection here in Ohio. As you may know, Ohio has chosen the winning presidential candidate in 25 of the past 27 elections, dating back to 1904. Many pundits say that whoever wins Ohio this November wins the presidency.
We were in Columbus this past weekend at a state-wide convention for neighborhood team leaders. NTL’s as they are called, organize a neighborhood area [turf] and collect volunteers in that turf to contact the voters there. It’s ‘grassroots’ at a highly technical level. Technical because we have state-of-the-art computer functions at our fingertips.
Yesterday we presented our program to 12 new neighborhood volunteers and each of them joined our team- 5 of them asking for specific roles on the team. Apparently we fanned the embers that were still glowing from the ’08 campaign. No doubt they were easily ‘fired-up’ after watching the endless GOP debates in which their collective idiocy was magnified. What was truly amazing was that turnout on the warmest day of the year in Toledo. Not only that, but there were several NCAA basketball games in progress yesterday afternoon, yet they came anyway.
There were 550 people from all across Ohio at the NTL Convention; it was amazing. The array of ‘classes’ was endless from digital organizing to phonebanking 101 [and 202] with many other venues from which to choose. One of the motivational speakers warned that Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity along with billionaire Sheldon Adelson are together ready to spend $900 million to defeat the President with negative ads ad nauseum.
The problem with negative ads is that the voters tire of them and they, in fact, tend to cause the voter to view the negativity itself in a bad light. What is much more productive during a campaign is voter-contact. There is data which shows that the more times a voter is contacted, the more likely he/she will actually show up at the polls. Not only that, but the personal contact is highly persuasive because the truth comes out during a one-on-one contact- effectively neutralizing the power of those negative ads. The GOP may out-spend the Obama campaign, but elections are not won or lost on TV, but rather in neighborhoods, one by one.
And so, my fellow Democrats and other Obama supporters, do not despair over the impending rash of negativity soon to hit the airwaves. Rather, ask about joining a neighborhood team and doing your part in allowing President Obama a 2nd term to complete the job. Recall from that marvelous Super Bowl commercial featuring Clint Eastwood- it is half-time in America. The 2nd half is most important of all!