08 November 2012

Pounding the Pavement, Knocking on Doors, and Victory!

Last weekend was the homestretch in the 2012 election campaign, and I was in the thick of it. Saturday afternoon (3 Nov.), I was in Oakville doing Get Out The Vote (GOTV) for Governor Jay Nixon's campaign. I contacted assigned residents to see if Nixon could count on their vote, and reminded them of their polling place. If the people I wanted to see weren't home, I left a hanger-type flyer on their door, listing the statewide Democratic candidates and their polling place.

The next day, I pulled double duty, starting in the late morning with GOTV for Senator Claire McCaskill's campaign (and, secondarily, other Democrats on the ballot) in University City. Late that afternoon, I worked GOTV for President Barack Obama's campaign in south St. Louis. That session had me paired with a partner, Shannon, who was very good to work with. (I've been working solo on my other canvassing this campaign season.) I also made some GOTV phone calls for Obama Monday morning and early Monday night, as well as calls for volunteers in Wisconsin and Virginia.

Back with the Missouri Democrats in their Glendale office on early Monday afternoon (5 Nov.), I was sent to Brentwood for more McCaskill GOTV. So far, the canvassing I had performed showed most voters I did talk to (a small percentage of those I tried to contact) were supporting McCaskill. Late that night, I was sent to Rock Hill to leave hangars on targeted voters' doors. It was a challenge, finding house numbers at night, but I did get to over 70 houses by the time I was finished about 12:30 Tuesday morning.

After a brief bit of sleep, I was up at 5 am on Election Day (Tue., 6 Nov.), going to cast my vote at Nazareth Living Center. I arrived about 5:40 am, 20 minutes before the polls opened, and was the ninth voter to receive a ballot there. After casting my votes (all on a paper ballot, which was scanned there to record the totals), I came home to eat breakfast before heading out to Glendale once more. Starting from 9 am, I made three GOTV runs for McCaskill: in Rock Hill that morning, Brentwood early that afternoon, and Ladue late in the afternoon. In between runs, I did have time to rest a bit, eat and drink. The campaign office was abuzz with activity as staff and volunteers came and went. My thanks for Allie Woods, Christine Flynn, Mark, Daria and the rest of the campaign office staff for all their hard work these past few weeks.

I got back from Ladue before 6 pm, then was sent to Berkley Middle School to help watch the polls before it closed at 7 pm. There was concern about long lines and possible voter intimidation; however, when I got there around 6:35 pm, there were no such worries. After the polls closed, I headed towards west St. Louis for dinner at Steak 'n Shake, then to the Chase Park Plaza Hotel for the Democrats' party. In the hotel's Khorassan Ballroom, many Democratic supporters and staffers gathered to watch the returns. We got word around 8:30 pm that McCaskill was projected the winner, and we all cheered loudly. Around 9 pm, McCaskill appeared on stage to make her victory speech, thanking all of us volunteers for the hard work and the voters for their support. Another big cheer came into the room around 10:20 pm, when President Obama's re-election was called by CNN.

A little while after that, McCaskill's campaign staff and volunteers were invited into a side room for a reception with the senator. AS she did with the others, McCaskill shook my hand and thanked me for all my work on her behalf, which I welcomed and congratulated her on her re-election. I stayed for a little while, then left to go home. Before that, I was briefly interviewed on-camera by a St. Louis TV news reporter, trying to get reaction on the re-election of Sen. McCaskill. I haven't seen myself on TV yet, but I'm sure I sounded fine.

In the period of Saturday through Tuesday, I must have been to about 350 residences. I was good and tired, but happy about the result. Most of those I voted for (candidates and issues) passed. That included Scott Sifton for state senate, for whom I had worked a phone bank in recent weeks.

Now, back to reality. I did some proofreading for an animal feed firm's marketing materials on Tuesday morning (between voting and GOTV) and yesterday. Tomorrow morning, I interview with MERS to see about getting some help in finding work.


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