Swinging the Swing States

Carol Brown
Romney and Ryan are attracting large crowds. So did Sarah Palin. Large crowds are fantastic, but do not an election win.

Conservative rags are full of hype in their favor. Liberal rags are full of hype in their favor. Hype does not an election win.

There's much bravado in the air on many conservative sites. Much talk of how this is a done deal. How we will win in a landslide. All of this flies in the face of numerous polls and demographic analyses. And while they may be wrong, they may also be right.

Either way, we cannot afford to celebrate prematurely. And a lot will happen between now and Election Day that will continue to impact how this race is ultimately decided.

But for all we do not know, there is one thing we do know: the election will be decided in swing states.

If you live in a swing state you have the good fortune to be able to fulfill a number of important tasks on behalf of the campaign. If you don't live in a swing state, you can still donate, make calls from home, and reach out to every single person you know who does live in a swing state. (Reach out to those in other states, too, but swing states must be our priority.)

Start a list of people you know. (I say "start" because once you begin this process, you'll be amazed how much the list will continue to grow as more and more people come to mind.)

Jot down a short note next to each person's name with a fact or an impression that will directly link to a conversation about the election.

Sample list (include everyone, not just swing state contacts):

  • Aunt Mary: Lives in Florida; house value has plummeted.
  • Roommate from college: Lives in Ohio; not sure of her party affiliation.
  • Neighbor who lives 2 doors down: Has a flag he flies in front of his house year round.
  • Owner of coffee shop downtown (don't know his name): Business is struggling.
  • Jamie and Lou's daughter: Just finished college and can't find a job.

You get the picture.

Now you have a concrete starting place to work from. Call, email, snail mail, or speak face-to-face with each person, honing your message to fit the information you've noted next to their name. You might want to write a template letter and tweak it for each person.

If the person is already in our camp, make sure they're involved with the campaign. Ask if they know anyone in swing states. Light a fire under them to contact those people.

Keep notes on your efforts so you can follow up with individuals. In many cases, a single encounter will not be enough. In some cases, you'll realize it is not worth further effort.

Make every single encounter with every single person between now and election day be about the election. We have to over compensate for the media propaganda machine. We have to meet our opponents head on, and then some. We have to win. And to do so, we must win the swing states.

You'd be amazed how much impact you can have - way more than some generic letter from a political campaign that's two pages, double sided, with every other sentence underlined, and subsequently chucked into the garbage.

Our efforts must have huge ripple effects.

The election is days away. It's now or never.

Romney and Ryan are attracting large crowds. So did Sarah Palin. Large crowds are fantastic, but do not an election win.

Conservative rags are full of hype in their favor. Liberal rags are full of hype in their favor. Hype does not an election win.

There's much bravado in the air on many conservative sites. Much talk of how this is a done deal. How we will win in a landslide. All of this flies in the face of numerous polls and demographic analyses. And while they may be wrong, they may also be right.

Either way, we cannot afford to celebrate prematurely. And a lot will happen between now and Election Day that will continue to impact how this race is ultimately decided.

But for all we do not know, there is one thing we do know: the election will be decided in swing states.

If you live in a swing state you have the good fortune to be able to fulfill a number of important tasks on behalf of the campaign. If you don't live in a swing state, you can still donate, make calls from home, and reach out to every single person you know who does live in a swing state. (Reach out to those in other states, too, but swing states must be our priority.)

Start a list of people you know. (I say "start" because once you begin this process, you'll be amazed how much the list will continue to grow as more and more people come to mind.)

Jot down a short note next to each person's name with a fact or an impression that will directly link to a conversation about the election.

Sample list (include everyone, not just swing state contacts):

  • Aunt Mary: Lives in Florida; house value has plummeted.
  • Roommate from college: Lives in Ohio; not sure of her party affiliation.
  • Neighbor who lives 2 doors down: Has a flag he flies in front of his house year round.
  • Owner of coffee shop downtown (don't know his name): Business is struggling.
  • Jamie and Lou's daughter: Just finished college and can't find a job.

You get the picture.

Now you have a concrete starting place to work from. Call, email, snail mail, or speak face-to-face with each person, honing your message to fit the information you've noted next to their name. You might want to write a template letter and tweak it for each person.

If the person is already in our camp, make sure they're involved with the campaign. Ask if they know anyone in swing states. Light a fire under them to contact those people.

Keep notes on your efforts so you can follow up with individuals. In many cases, a single encounter will not be enough. In some cases, you'll realize it is not worth further effort.

Make every single encounter with every single person between now and election day be about the election. We have to over compensate for the media propaganda machine. We have to meet our opponents head on, and then some. We have to win. And to do so, we must win the swing states.

You'd be amazed how much impact you can have - way more than some generic letter from a political campaign that's two pages, double sided, with every other sentence underlined, and subsequently chucked into the garbage.

Our efforts must have huge ripple effects.

The election is days away. It's now or never.