Saturday, October 4, 2008

Reporting on the Ground Games

The 538 website reports on Obama's ground operations vs. McCain's:

Obama has 40 offices now open in Missouri, and Justin Hamilton, Obama’s Press Secretary for Missouri, told us that while he couldn’t confirm below or above the published reports of 150 organizers (it didn’t come from the campaign), the campaign is only adding to its ground force. Organizers have now recruited 2500 neighborhood team leaders statewide, folks who do the far more effective work than any 30-second ad or yard signs, actual face-to-face contact and persuasion of their neighbors.


Let’s be clear. We've observed no comparison between these ground campaigns. To begin with, there’s a 4-1 ratio of offices in most states. We walk into McCain offices to find them closed, empty, one person, two people, sometimes three people making calls. Many times one person is calling while the other small clutch of volunteers are chatting amongst themselves. In one state, McCain’s state field director sat in one of these offices and, sotto voce, complained to us that only one man was making calls while the others were talking to each other about how much they didn't like Obama, which was true. But the field director made no effort to change this. This was the state field director.

Only for the first time the other day did we see a McCain organizer make a single phone call. So we've now seen that once. The McCain organizers seem to operate as maître Ds. Let me escort you to your phone, sir. Pick any one of this sea of empty chairs. I'll be sitting over here if you need any assistance.


The McCain offices are also calm, sedate. Little movement. No hustle. In the Obama offices, it's a whirlwind. People move. It's a dynamic bustle.

Encouraging, but of course, Democrats have to work twice as hard. The Republicans have their unofficial and unspoken GOTV operation - it's called organized religion.

My pipe dream is that Obama wins the election and turns the IRS loose on all the organizing arms of the GOP masquerading as churches. Strip them of their tax-exempt status. Trying to rig elections for the anti-choice, anti-gay, warmongering, corrupt Republicans won't be quite as fun when you have to pay taxes, will it, you fucking phonies?

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