Sunday, September 19, 2004
Yesterday I spent all day in central Pennsylvania canvassing for John Kerry. It was some of the most fun I've ever had. Don't scowl- I'm serious. The three hour bus-ride to and from was interesting. I met a lot of very nice people and made some new friends. The campaigning itself was even better. We went to a working class black/latino area in the Harrisburg suburbs. Turnout there was 4% in the last election, and they had always been ignored in the past. They didn't know anything about the election other than that they didn't like George Bush, and they didn't think they mattered. No one had ever visited there before (Remember, this is a swings state). Five minutes of conversation later, a goodly number of them were enthusiastic about Kerry, and we even got some volunteers.
I have a feeeling this is a situation that holds for much of the country. Poorer and disenfranchised communities are a natural Democratic constituency, and indeed should be our base. But for years we have targetted almost exclusively on while middle class swing voters in the suburbs. Now we should still go after those people, but can you imagine what we could do in states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania if we mobilized 50% of working class black/latino voters? We'd be hunting the Republicans with dogs and flashlights.
So get on the bus!