Saturday, April 26, 2008

Indiana, Door to Door

Purdue University senior Roy Hobbs chats with Indiana voters in West Lafayette.

Supporters in West Lafayette, IN took to the streets (and country roads) this morning, going to door to door to speak with registered Democrats about Barack Obama's plans to help Indiana families.

This was the first time I'd had the opportunity to go door to door for the campaign, and the experience was eye opening. First of all, it's completely understandable how difficult it can be to harness the youth vote. We began the day knocking on the doors of registered voters near the Purdue University campus, but unfortunately, much of the information we had, despite being only a few months old, was out of date. With college students so frequently on the move, it's tough to reach them by conventional methods. Most of the conversations we had this morning were with hungover (or barely awake) college students who were nonetheless eager to hear about Barack Obama. Of course, the fact that the semester ended yesterday didn't help our efforts. Many students were either out of town, or sleeping in after a long night out.

We did have some great opportunities in the afternoon to get out into the countryside a little bit. Folks were very receptive and happy to see us. We did run into a few ardent Obama supporters who already had their minds made up, but seeing people going door to door seemed to reinvigorate their enthusiasm for what has been a long campaign.

Perhaps the best part of the morning, though, was running into some registered Republicans. They were unaware that they are actually eligible to participate in Indiana's primary campaign, regardless of their party affiliation. There truly are a lot of frustrated Republicans out there who are eager for change, and seriously considering crossing party lines for the first time in their lives. In a traditionally deep red state like Indiana, that could make all the difference come November.

One final thought: After 5 hours of door to door efforts today, we made face to face contact with 44 voters, most of whom were available for less than a minute of conversation. BlogObama08 averages 30 visitors per day for an average time of about 1 minute and 30 seconds. On a good day, more than 300 users visit the blog. If nothing else, this door to door effort convinced me that maintaining this blog does make an impact, even if at times it feels like I am just shouting into the abyss.