September 14, 2008

We're Losing. What Are You Doing About It?

Let's face it: we are losing. The electoral vote predictions in state-by-state polls favor McCain-Palin—as of this writing, it's 270 McCain, 268 Obama.  The prediction market Intrade has McCain ahead 52 to 48.  And the Washington Post is reporting that if current trends continue, the election will be decided in the traditional swing states rather than in the Mountain West as Democrats had hoped. Even the race here in Washington State has tightened up for the first time since March, coming as close as two percentage points in some polls.

So yes, we're losing, and we're pissed off. We're pissed that the country seems to be getting duped again by a charismatic governor with little experience and radical right-wing views.  We're angry about the daily stream of bald-face lies that McCain is telling about Obama. We are mad at Steve Schmidt and his Rovian tactics.

But it's not enough to be mad. We have got to win. We need to channel all that emotion and turn it into action.  Every week, for the next seven weeks (and that's all there is left), we—you and I—need to be personally reaching out to undecided voters. We need to identify all the Obama supporters we can, in the swing states and in our own neighborhoods, and get them on the contact lists for the campaign so they can be turned out on November 4. That activity is very valuable and unfortunately the work is painstaking.  But that's what people are talking about when they speak of a field organization. Without us, it is nothing.

Now, you may feel like knocking on doors or calling people won't change much. You may be an experienced professional who is used to leading an organization rather than being a foot soldier. At the risk of being a little harsh here, let me say this: if you have a better way to reach voters, please let me know so I can do whatever it is you're doing (besides donating money; that's the easy part). If you don't have a better way, please help the turn-out effort. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, on your own time.

The Obama campaign has created very innovative tools to help you reach out to people in swing states by phone and to find undecided voters in your own neighborhood. Check out  All the information is there.

Let's take our anger and turn it into something productive.

By Will Friedman in Election '08 | Permalink  | 


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