Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Candidates Digging for a Deeper Pool of Iowa Voters

An interesting article about the intensive on-the-ground organization efforts by the various campaigns in Iowa:

Mr. Obama is focusing on younger voters, who have brought considerable energy to his campaign but who as a group have not tended to turn out to vote in large numbers in past presidential elections. As supporters walk into a campaign stop for Mr. Obama, separate lines are designated for high school and college students to receive specific instructions for caucus night. After his speech, he holds a brief meeting and photograph session with his young supporters who belong to a program called Barack Stars.

Obama supporters of all ages receive a yellow slip of paper — a “Ticket to Change” — with directions to their caucus site and a telephone hot line (one for each of Iowa’s five area codes) to answer questions.

To expand the universe of caucus participants, the Obama campaign hired Ken Strasma, one of the leading Democratic specialists in finding voters through microtargeting. Maps of Mr. Strasma’s efforts hang throughout the campaign’s state headquarters on Locust Street here, color-coded with shades of prospective pockets of supporters

To find its supporters, the Obama campaign spent months developing models of who their likely supporters would be, focusing particularly on previous caucus voters as well as Iowans who voted in the 2006 governor’s race but had never caucused. Months ago, strategists saw one of the biggest areas of potential supporters to be independent voters under 50, as well as men registered as Democrats.

“What’s the one thing that will determine this election? The campaign that does the best job of turning out the highest percentage of their supporters,” said Mr. Plouffe, the campaign manager for Mr. Obama. “We’re maniacally focused on that.”


Candidates Digging for a Deeper Pool of Iowa Voters

Published: December 30, 2007

DES MOINES — Senator Barack Obama is on the hunt for Iowans who have never participated in the state’s presidential caucuses, including independent voters under 50 and students who will be 18 by the general election.


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