On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Doorbelling for Darcy

Once again I got up early (for me) on a weekend day and headed to the Darcy Burner campaign offices to help out as I could. The weather was dry, and although I had indicated that I would work the phones, I kept thinking what I really should be doing is helping canvass once again. Not everyone can do it, and I think I'm pretty good at it, so it just seemed that that was the best way I could help out.

As expected they were happy to send me out on another route, this time in Bellevue.

So I studied my list, verified the addresses and the map, prepared flyers I might leave at addresses where there was no answer, and headed out.

I found myself in a hilly, and lovely neighborhood, the fall colors of the trees a delight to behold, yet having to do a lot of driving to cover the area. However, I was able to methodically work from west to east, and found all the addresses with little trouble. About 60% of the people were at home, and I had a number of good interactions with those that were.

Almost to a tee it seems that people who were willing to tell me which way they were voting (I simply asked if they minded indicating which way they were leaning: Republican or Democratic) responded that they were voting straight Democratic. This was also true yesterday when I was in Renton. The story you hear is Washingtonians vote for the candidates, not the party, but that's not at all what I'm hearing from voters. What's more, everyone seemed to know who Darcy Burner was, which is an achievement in itself given how unknown she was a few months ago, and how well known Reichert is.

I was able to engage in long conversations with a few voters. Of one I asked for his sentiment about the voters in the neighborhood. I was told that a lot of immigrants had moved into the area in the past few years, and that the Republicans lived up the hill, and the Democrats lower down. That seemed to coincide with the size of the houses and the impressiveness of the views (and the household incomes needed to pay for both).

I had a great conversation with another voter. She wasn't on my list but her son in college was. She asked me if I'd seen the Darcy Burner yard sign at the end of the street, which I had. After knocking on a few more doors on that street, I needed to see if she could help me out. As it turned out I hadn't listened to my own advice about not drinking too much tea before canvassing. That's because I hadn't intended to canvass today. So I thought I'd take a chance and ask if I could use her restroom! She was nice enough to oblige, and afterward we had a longer conversation about the races and the importance of voting in a new Congress. You never know who you'll come across doorbelling, but more often than not it seems you come across nice people, regardless of their political persuasion, and that's always a pleasant experience.

About halfway through my route, wouldn't you know it, it started to rain again. We've received 3 inches of rain in just four days this month, with more in the forecast. So I had to get my towel out again so as to wipe my clipboard dry every now and then.

Out of the 45 homes I visited, I counted only three that were short with me, but none in a way one can't understand. After all, we've all been receiving flyers by the dozens, and phone calls by the dozens. The benefit I think to doorbelling is the person to person contact. As Natasha at Pacific Views writes, many people are glad that someone would care enough to drive to their home to ask if they've voted and express the importance of that vote. When it is raining and you show up dripping wet it is surely an even greater indication of that importance.

I headed back to the campaign offices having visited all the addresses, and was astounded at how many people were there. It was crowded this morning, but it was overflowing this afternoon. People were literally lined up outside the building waiting to get in and help out in some way. People were coming and going from canvassing, dozens of people were on the phones, dozens others were preparing flyers and literature. I heard a worker announce new fundraising milestones putting the campaign in the top five nationally for Democratic challengers. Congressman Jay Inslee was preparing to go doorbelling for Darcy. Ross Hunter also showed up to do the same I suspect.

I also saw bloggers Carl and Lynn who were also helping out. Carl on the phones; Lynn had been canvassing.

It was an amazing scene, but seemingly just another day in what has been an amazing campaign.

There is still time to help out if you have time. I plan to take a day off from work on Tuesday to further help out. If, like me, you have some vacation/PTO days to take off (I'm actually in line to lose a few of them if I don't use them), Monday and Tuesday would be a great time take them so you can help out as well.

Cross posted at Daily Kos.

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