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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #1
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On the Ground: "It just feels like it's going to be close"

The November election is just 50 days out. Across the country, staffers and grassroots supporters are engaged in what has already been called "the largest field operation in the history of American politics," with new offices opening every week and new volunteers stepping forward every day.
Yesterday we reported on the New Hampshire Drive for Change event, in which supporters from Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts traveled to New Hampshire to canvass, where together they knocked on over 4000 doors in one day.

In Missouri, volunteers set out to make 500,000 calls on Saturday alone.
Around noon, over a dozen volunteers were stationed in the Phelps County Democratic Headquarters. They sat in front of computer screens, studiously looking over voter information as they held phones to their ears, awaiting the next undecided voter. Some were experienced phonebank veterans, but many were stopping in for the first time.
North Carolina held dozens of Cookout for Change events over the weekend, aimed at undecided voters and designed to encourage neighbor-to-neighbor conversations about the issues that are most important to them.

In Ohio, KentNewsNet reported on the volunteer efforts going on every day, supported by over 60 field offices:
They gather in small groups in each other's homes and on picnic tables in the park, rather than sleeping in and relaxing on the weekends. These individuals, young and old alike, are going door to door talking to their neighbors, all with one goal ...

Canvassing, the grassroots effort of knocking on doors and speaking with voters, is just one way Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is trying to reach potential voters in the Kent area and across the country.
In New Jersey, grassroots supporters are taking the lead. Asbury Park Press reports:
Jersey Shore for Obama, one of the largest grassroots organizations in the state is planning several events for the pre-election season. The group which had its birth in February 2008 is made up of over 300 members from the Monmouth/Ocean County areas and also includes members from some Southern New Jersey Counties. Since its inception the group has organized several voter registration events and is now planning to increase its efforts with only 8 weeks left before election day.
The Kansas City Star reports on the most recent innovation: horseback canvassing.
“This weekend, Jim Vokac, a 61-year-old Missouri Campaign for Change volunteer from Howell County saddled up his Missouri Foxtrotter, Hester, for a ‘Horse Sense Canvass’ around his traditionally Republican hometown of Willow Springs,” the campaign said in a statement. “Howell County volunteers, working out of the West Plains Missouri Campaign for Change office, are planning further horseback canvasses this election season.”

The events are part of the Obama campaign’s effort to register 75,000 new Missouri voters for the November election. The registration deadline is Oct. 8.
And in Florida:
"We're trying to get to and register as many people as we can," says Steve Meyers, a lawyer who is spending a steamy September night knocking on doors for Obama. "It just feels like this is going to be really close."
Voter registration has been going on all across the country, all summer long. Here's a video showing some of the volunteer work that took place at the Warped Tour in Cleveland, Ohio back in July:
In many states, this election will be won on the ground -- by volunteers and supporters talking to neighbors, registering voters, and building support one person at a time. This work is going on every day, across the country and in your own community. With just 50 days left, there is no better time to get involved.

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