I'm in Las Vegas tonight. I spent a couple of days here during the Kerry campaign, and a couple of days here a month ago for Obama. Now, with the 2008 presidential election looming, I came over yesterday and today did eight hours of canvassing, with tomorrow, election day, being a critical GOTV ("get out the vote") day. We're assembling early on the north side of town (I mistakenly have taken a motel down near the strip, and so have a twenty-minute drive out to the site) where we'll get our marching orders from the incredibly competent, organized young folks who are Obama's ground staff. Today's canvassing consisted of going to various gated communities, spurring Democrats to make sure to vote, hanging door-hangers with election-site information on the homes where there was no one home, and leaving generalized information in the case of the homes of the less-committed. All according to perfected computerized charts and maps given to us by the aforementioned staff. Bottom line: Out of the fifty-plus homes we were told to visit, we perhaps caused two or three people to vote for Obama who might otherwise have slacked off.
My canvass-mate was a sweet, 18-year-old black girl who'd taken the day off from school to do this for Obama, after, she said, having "blown it off so many times before." The irony is that on this day when she'd decided finally to do it, Michelle Obama was attending her high school for a campaign appearance, so this task caused her to miss both that and a day's worth of classes.