Diary of a Swing State Precinct Walker Paul Losch's Community Blog, posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I spent the weekend before the election in the Reno, Nevada area, canvassing for the Obama campaign. Got home election night, and went to sleep shortly after the President was declared the “winner.” After all the walking in the hot dry environs of Reno, hanging tags (not chads), schmoozing when I could, and dealing with various circumstances, I was ready for a good night’s sleep back in my own bed.
The Weekly and many other news sources have covered the ground level efforts that attended this election. I provide here some random anecdotes and observations from my last few days.
Samples of interactions I had in my canvassing:
Me: What’s important?
Voter: I will not vote for a Mormon
Me: That does narrow down your options
Me: Hola, Espanol o Ingles? (I am fluent in Spanish, and was assigned to places with a large Spanish speaking contingent)
Small Child: Espanol, mami!!
Woman in towel: I am about to take a shower, I will vote for Obama!
Me: Hi I am from…
She: I have a day care group in my back yard, and let me tell you, anybody who votes for Romney has parked their brains at the door, he is so…blah blah blah…
Me: Glad you are voting for Obama, you need to get back to the kids. (As I walked away, I contemplated how much she had enjoyed having an adult conversation.)
Me: Have you voted?
He: I am a felon, can’t vote
Sign on Door: Go away! I don’t need any more visits and no more brochures!
I worked different areas in Reno during my stint. One was a pristine community with theme names for the streets (think Rosetta Stone Way) that had rules from the “Neighborhood Association.” Another day I spent time in a vicinity that consisted of trailers, dirt roads, more pit bulls than people, no trespassing signs. A different type of “Neighborhood Association.”
I was fed up with the TV ads in Reno for the elections after an hour my first night there. It was nothing like what we had in this neck of the woods. It led me to sympathize for those poor people who were getting inundated with such ads for weeks at a time, and getting the in your face visit from the likes of me trying to “get out the vote.”
The group canvassing were largely from Northern California, a mix of Gen X’s who were working in public interest, government jobs, some retired folks, and other like me who had some spare days and could participate in a cause.
I saw a couple of TV news stories about this type of campaigning around the country, and they reflected in many ways what I experienced.
I am keeping this write up to some anecdotal points, and there could be more.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm
Paul: thank you for your service to American Democracy, and to the thousands of others who got on the phones and hit the streets.
332-206, a landslide. Maybe the red team will figure it out, maybe they won't. If they start by teaming up with working Americans, instead of working against them, it'll be a start and working Americans won't have to work against republicans on the phones and streets.
I'm not holding my breath, much as I'm sure persons of color are not either.
Democrats have the majority vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections (missing only in 2004.) Get a clue, red team, get a clue. Hate and fear is a bad strategy.
Posted by get over it, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm
Sharon and Jim can not Get over the fact that Obama won. They are actually looking forward to seeing Obama ”fail”. Kind of sad, don't you think, that Sharon had to bring in Carter to try to make a case? BTW Mitch mcconnel failed big time-he ”worked for 4 years to derail Obama at the expense of the American people. Tone footer him to go though he is Jim and sharons hero.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm
I actually felt sorry for those who live in swing states. I saw a facebook status from a very fed up friend who had moved to a swing state since the last election. He was utterly fed up with people from both parties contacting him, often from out of State, to "help" him make his decision. He is very intelligent and quite capable of deciding for himself which way to vote. If we think it was bad here can't imagine how bad it was there!
Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm
real return on investment: I meant for so little personal return. How do you react when political canvassers come to your door? Most people are rude or insulting or slam the door. Not a very pleasant personal return for the canvasser, to say nothing of sore feet and raspy vocal chords, among other things.