Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Voter Reg numbers increase job for us in these last weeks

There are 14-hour days ahead for thousands of unpaid and lightly paid campaign workers.

Your unpaid blogger will be sitting in front of the computer for 6-8 hours a day pondering stuff and every so often writing, and then going out to meetings, events, canvasses and phone banks – piling on 6-8 hours more.

Those who aren’t bloggers can just figure on 14 hours of canvassing, events and phone banks. Y’all can ponder while waiting for the pizza delivery. If you have a job, try to avoid dismissal. It’s tough out there, baby.

Forget about a day off, mowing the lawn, servicing the car, the doctor or the dentist. This is it!

Voter registration is finally over, and the numbers are awesome, and each of the added individuals is a challenge that will require work to produce a vote.

How many challenges? My neighborhood guru, Dan Jonas, captain of North Beach for Obama, says 40,000 new voters in one day, or 200,000 since Aug. 1, have been added to the number of challenges.

Let’s see: how many volunteers does it take to contact 200,000 newly registered Democrats and ask if they have received their absentee ballots, if they need a ride to the polls, if they know where their early voting site is located? And how’s Aunt Tilly and the kids?

“We need help more than ever.”

That’s the word from Dan Jonas and every neighborhood captain, field organizer, deputy field organizer (Welcome the new hires bearing that title, of whom I met one talented example Monday at the unperformed Jay-Z concert), campaign director and on up to Barack Obama himself.

Now is when we win, with the right performance by all of us. Our candidate is doing splendidly. We have a tremendous role model to emulate.

I’m kicking it off this evening by going to a party, a debate-watching party at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami jointly sponsored by the Miami-Dade Democrats. 8 p.m. Y’all come.

Meanwhile, here is word from the Florida Democratic Party on our surge in voter registrations:

With the voter registration for the 2008 General Election now closed, new voter registration numbers provided by the Department of State show another huge surge of Floridians joining the Democratic Party during the month of September.

During the month of September, 20,119 more newly registered Floridians signed up as Democrats than registered as Republicans. Between the beginning of January and the end of September, 170,341 more newly registered voters joined the Democratic Party than joined the Republican Party.

"Floridians are enthusiastic about change and are excited to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. Residents in every corner of the Sunshine State recognize that Democrats will rebuild our economy, create good jobs, lower homeowners' insurance rates and end our addiction to foreign oil, which is why they are joining the Democratic Party in record numbers," said Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman. "Now that our unprecedented voter registration effort has come to an end, we must focus on making sure that every voter in Florida casts their ballot between now and Election Day for Barack Obama and other Democrats. Our tens of thousands of volunteers will be helping their friends and neighbors request absentee ballots, encouraging people to early vote or making sure they get to the polls on Election Day."

According to the Department of State, 72,189 Floridians registered as Democrats while 52,070 people registered as Republicans, during the month of September. Between Jan. 1, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2008, 803,909 people have registered to vote, including 360,478 Democrats, 253,294 Independents and NPAs, and 190,137 Republicans.

Most striking is the net gain numbers, which factor in newly registered voters, party switchers and removes people who are no longer voters in Florida. Since January, the Florida Democratic Party has had a net gain of 415,580 voters, while the Republican Party of Florida has only gained 169,841. This shows that the gap between Democrats and Republicans in Florida has grown by 245,739 voters this year alone.

Here let me stop and repeat the overall lead the Democrats had in Florida in early September:

  • Democrats 4.4 million
  • Republicans 3.9 million
  • Non-party and minor parties 2.3 million.

This should give us ample reason to keep on working, because all those independents are out there waiting for your contact to decide which way they will vote.

Note: in coming days we should hear final numbers of people eligible to vote for president and all else. This will be our final number of challenges to give Barack 27 electoral votes.

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