Myself, and about 200-250 other activists showed up in Reno, NV on Friday night. We spent the night, and rallied in Taylor Park to grab our clipboards and get some instruction from our field leaders before fanning out in teams of six to canvass neighborhoods. We went door to door doing voter ID by asking a few polling questions and then registered anyone who we thought sounded like a progressive voter. (i.e. Democrat who would vote for Kerry).
We had printed lists of likely supporters identified. Team leaders used Palm Pilots for the same purpose.
Some people went to a couple of fertile locations to do tabling and voter reg there, too. All told, we will register over 1000 Democrats this weekend in the Reno/Sparks area. I registered eight myself yesterday. I will post exact figures. This is happening every weekend as Reno is only a four-hour drive from the Bay Area. There was a similar number of volunteers each of the last few weekends. Last weekend several dozen volunteers organized by the Sierra Club showed up in Reno to do the same thing. They registered over 800 Democrats last weekend. I want to do tabling because I am really good at his stuff. Tabling folks were registering about 50 voters per day; I'm sure I could do at least 100 new registrants per day in the right location (WalMart).
The canvassing is being organized by a coalition of several organizations, including America Coming Together (ACT), the League of Pissed off Voters (LOPOV), DrivingVotes.org, the East Bay League of Progressive Voters and others, all 527s and being careful to follow the applicable rules on these new non-profits. We were not able to coordinate with the Democrats. I was going to go with DV, but some friends were going with LOPOV and they paid for our hotel rooms, gas and food on the trip.
An equal effort is taking place in Las Vegas every weekend with volunteers from LA. This will go on every weekend until October 2, which is the final day to register voters unless you are an have had official training on Voter Registration, in which case you can register voters until October 12. After that we will organize around GOTV efforts, phone calls and issue ID and then sending pinpoint literature on issues. Nevada has been a generally conservative state. I also encountered a lot of strong libertarian opinions there while canvassing.
The canvassing is being organized by a coalition of several groups, including America Coming Together, the League of Pissed off Voters, DrivingVotes.org, the East Bay League of Progressive Voters and others, all 527s being careful to follow the applicable rules on these new non-profits. We were not able to coordinate with the Democrats. I was going to go with DV, but some friends were going with TLOPV and they paid for our hotel rooms, gas and food on the trip. I didn’t have to spend a thing the whole trip. I even won some money playing blackjack because this cute activist chick named Kathryn taught me how to count cards. And, she helped us by adjusting her hair for us when she knew the card count was in favor of a betting big. It was great fun. She won lots of money.
Many people were able to stay for two days, some of us had to come back Saturday night so that we could post on the forum rather than doing our chores on a Sunday. Recent polls go back and forth between showing Bush or Kerry up by a point or two. All of these polls are well within the margin of error. They also tend to sample too heavily from LV, and not enough from RV. We’ll see how it goes.
Anyway, these newest polls spell very bad news for Bush and the Republicans. Bush won CO by 8 points in 2000. However, it's still early, and I still cannot predict CO to go Dem this year. The best news is that Kerry leads among independents 49-38, and this is fairly consistent in all swing states.
The Republicans are in a lot of trouble long-term if current polling trends continue. Many states in the south have a rapidly growing Hispanic population that is strongly Dem. In 2012 or 2016, how will the Republicans fair when, NV, AZ, CO, VA, NH and maybe NC are all leaning-Dem, and FL, NM, WV & OR are solid Dem? Even if IA, WI, MN and OH head their way long-term, we come out with a big advantage. It looks everything is coming up roses.