Thursday, October 21, 2010

SMILING and DIALING: Tea Party activists turn to the phones

One of the Democrats’ long standing advantages in national elections is the so-called “ground game.”  Getting out the vote is one thing they’ve always done well.  No one votes earlier or more often than Democrats do.  They’ve had labor unions, environmentalists, abortionists and now ACORN and state/local government employees involved.

One thing in politics is more true than any other:  It doesn’t matter if you’re running for Dog Catcher or President of the United States.  You can’t win if you don’t get your people to the polls.

In this cycle, conservative grassroots organizations are using grassroots tactics perfected by the left.  No, not the voter fraud or intimidation.  It’s the nice retired lady, stay-at-home mom or retired Vet making a phone call or three from the comfort of the kitchen table:


Here, in between making dinner and baking cookies and celebrating the 16th birthday of one of her eight children, tea party activist Rosie Gagnon is working the phones, squeezing in 10 or 20 minutes or even an hour when she can, placing dozens of calls each day urging voters to support her favored candidates.

"Hello, my name is Rosie, and I'm a volunteer with FreedomWorks PAC, a grass-roots organization advocating for limited government," began Gagnon, reading from a script. "I'm calling to ask for your vote for Senate candidate Sharron Angle in the general election on Tuesday, November 2nd."

It's no mistake that Gagnon is calling people in Nevada rather than Oregon, where the Republican Senate nominee isn't given much of a chance. Encouraged by national tea party groups, she and other activists are dialing long-distance to try to influence the nation's most competitive congressional contests.

FreedomWorks, which claims 2,100 registered callers nationwide, is just one group with a phone-from-home program. The Sacramento-based Tea Party Express helped sway primary elections in Alaska, Delaware and Nevada by placing tens of thousands of calls to those states, and organizers for Americans for Prosperity, headquartered in Arlington, say 10,000 volunteers are making calls through the program - 400 of whom are in Oregon.

The efforts are designed to be a conservative counterweight to MoveOn.org and other liberal organizations that used these sorts of tactics to great effect in 2006 and 2008. Those groups are at it again this year, with Organizing for America launching a revamped online calling tool last week to coincide with President Obama's rallies nationwide.

The Internet-based software the tea party groups provide makes calling easy: Register as a volunteer, log in, and the program calls your phone number to connect you. Click again and your phone calls a voter's home. Read the script on the screen, click again and the call is disconnected. Click again and the next call is underway.

All the while, the system is logging valuable information for the national groups: who's still undecided, which numbers are good, who's home and who's not.

Calling all around the country on behalf of politicians she has never met is not exactly something Gagnon expected to do. But she's a mother and she's worried that no matter how well she raises her kids, it won't make much difference if things don't improve.


Think about the math, here. If you have 2,100 Rosies making dozens of calls each day then you have the potential to reach 50,000 to 100,000 voters. Daily.  With 12 days left until Election Day, those numbers can easily reach into the millions.  Folks, numbers like that can not only make a difference, they can turn a wave into a Tsunami.

image There’s still time for you to get involved.  If you are a blogger, facebooker or Twitterer, or if you’re just a fired up Patriot who wants to make a difference besides blasting out tweets and facebook posts, then Don’t Just Catch the Wave. BE THE WAVE.

Go sign up for the Ace of Spades HQ “BE THE WAVE” Get out the vote effort at FreedomWorks PAC.  It takes seconds to sign up.

I have a full time job, this blog and an active Twitter account.  But I am still finding time to make a few calls a day for Martha Roby, a bona fide conservative seeking election to the House of Representatives for the Alabama 2nd Congressional District.  If I can do it, you can do it!

Allow me a little rope on a stereotype, here.  What could strike more fear in the hearts of liberals than a Tea Party effort led by women using the telephone to make a difference in an election?

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