Campaigning in Tipton, Iowa
by Paul Deaton
of last night's speakers re-iterated the same message. Talk to everyone
we know who favors Democrats and make sure they get out and vote.“
Going into the final week before the 2010 midterm elections is like going into a bunker to await the artillery of the opposing side and an inevitable assault. Democrats are in a defensive position this year, attempting to hold gains made during the last two general election cycles. The ground war changes during the final days of the election, and we are there. The battlefield looks to favor us and as always, what will matter is the voting.
At the Cedar County Democrats Annual Spaghetti Supper and Pie Auction in Tipton, Iowa last night, U.S. Senate candidate, Roxanne Conlin said, “the votes to win are there.” What remains is for Democrats to get out the vote. It is what we have always done, even if volunteers to make phone calls during next weekend's final push have been fewer than in previous years. There will be enough.
The get out the vote effort has been aided by the decision of the Democratic National Committee to continue the Organizing for America operation started during the Obama-Biden campaign of 2008. This created an infrastructure that when combined with the Iowa coordinated campaign, candidate staff and local activists has been able to generate record numbers of early votes. Early voting reduces the workload on election day and with fewer volunteers, the work can still be accomplished. It benefited Democrats that an organizational structure was already in place when the 2010 midterm campaign began.
Loyal Democrats have been reluctant to wear their party on their sleeve this year. At the event last night, several people indicated that pressure from more active conservatives has people who operate small businesses switching to no preference registrations or taking down yard signs after receiving negative attention from conservatives in the community. In a tough economy, this is to be expected although these voters are likely to favor Democrats and will vote.
That the Republicans have more money than Democrats this year is no surprise. They usually do, although this year more than others, their overt attempt to buy the election with outside groups like the American Future Fund speaks to the audacity of powerful interests. Regardless of what is good for Iowans, they will stop at nothing in their attempt to regain control of the government. In Tipton, Congressman Dave Loebsack reiterated a common anthem when he said, “we can't let them buy this election.” He was preaching to the choir.
Perhaps the best news of the evening came from Mari Culver, who attended with her mother-in-law and two children. Internal campaign polling indicates the tide is turning for the Culver-Judge campaign. She indicated this was reflected in two things the Branstad-Reynolds camp did this week. Branstad-Reynolds, sensing the Democratic surge in activism, doubled their advertising buy for the final days. Branstad also changed his position on early childhood education and on the Hawk-I program to provide health insurance for children. He was against taking care of children and now he's for it. Sure signs that Culver-Judge has momentum.
All of last night's speakers re-iterated the same message. Talk to everyone we know who favors Democrats and make sure they get out and vote. Each of the candidates looked a bit weary after a long, hard campaign and a long day. It was clear they are not finished with the fight to win in November, and when Democrats win, Iowa wins.
When the battlefield clears on November 3, we will know two things: Democrats will have held their own and that whatever casualties the 2010 midterms may generate, we will not stop fighting to advance the causes of everyday Iowans. ~Paul Deaton is a
native Iowan living in rural Johnson County and weekend editor of
Blog for Iowa. E-mail
Contact your county auditor or Go to IowaDemocrats.org to find out where to vote early
you know? ..Studies of GOTV have shown that one knock on
the door within 72 hours of the election can increase turnout by 12.5%
— a second by almost as much… a live
phone contact increases turnout by 2.5% to 3%… link There are only 9 days left to go to your county Dem HQ and volunteer some time to help elect Democrats. Find contact information for your Democratic county chair here. Sign up for a shift. Your help will be appreciated.