Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Reaching out? Looks like Kerrry's the leader.

There's been a lot said about reaching new voters in the Democratic caucus and primary cycle this year. The John Kerry campaign seems to be actually doing something about it, though.

Take Iowa, for instance, where Kerry has lined up a volunteer corps of 1,000 military veterans to reach out to a key new caucus constituency.

According to MSNBC, "Kerry spokesperson David Wade said veterans are “a core constituency” that “if mobilized could make a huge difference” in Iowa and New Hampshire. The campaign estimates 281,000 veterans live in Iowa. Of those, 158,359 are registered to vote and 142,185 have never caucused before. "

The impact of 142,000 new faces in the Iowa caucuses is nearly incalcuable. If only ten percent of that number could be inspired to caucus for Kerry, it would affect the landscape of the nomination campaign substantially. Hard work on the ground in critical contests makes lousy TV and doesn't sell many papers, so you rarely hear about this kind of thing, but it's really what wins elections.

Meanwhile, up here in the Upper Left corner of the contiguous 48, the Seattle Times reports that the Kerry campaign has built the largest staff organization in the state and is making another pitch for new involvement. The Times quotes David Wade on the Kerry camp's Northwest strategy which emphasizes finding new caucus participants.

"Washington could be the perfect storm for the Kerry campaign, with huge numbers of people who care about the environment, an enormous veterans' population, and a tradition of electing leaders who understand foreign policy and national security."

Only three campaigns have operations in Washington now, and Kerry is a clear leader, with seven full time staffers manning four regional offices. Going where the others aren't and finding voters the others can't sounds like a pretty good strategy to me.

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