Knocking on Doors in the Rain

Now that I’m dried off and warmed up a bit, I thought I’d write about how I spent my morning. After leaving Lizzie and the boys at home, I headed into Wake Forest to one of the churches, where the Obama camp had set up a Get Out the Vote station. I got my two-minute training, a pack of pamphlets and door hangers, and a ten-page packet of addresses and a map.

I had about thirty houses of registered Democrats and Undecideds on my list for door-to-door canvassing to make sure people voted and knew where to vote. The catch was, it was in McCain country — an upscale community called Wakefield.

And it started raining as soon as I got in my car to stop at my first house…

I have to admit, knocking on people’s door like a traveling salesman is not my idea of fun. I’m not really a people person in that way. As much as I hate talking on the phone, I would’ve preferred that over bothering people in their homes. But I figured getting out was better than waiting around for the results to start rolling in. And it was still better than going to work!

A couple things I learned, knocking on doors in the rain:

  • A surprising amount of people are at home during the day — about half of the houses I hit had someone there. Don’t people work?
  • There are some big-ass houses in this neighborhood. What do these people do for work?
  • Quite a few of those big-ass houses were for sale — I saw about a dozen For Sale signs.
  • If a house on my list contained McCain supporters, they were closing the door on me almost as soon as they saw my Obama-Biden stickers. They also looked at me like they smelled something funny (hey, I showered!).
  • I had a couple nice conversations with Obama supporters, including a black guy who’d already voted for Obama who told me “Maybe that’s why my neighbors don’t talk to me much” when I mentioned that there were a lot of McCain signs on his street.
  • Everyone I talked to had voted already in early voting, except for one person who was on her way to voting in an hour. Early voting in North Carolina was a brilliant idea.
  • And finally — knocking on strangers’ doors is no fun.

All in all, it was worth it, but the next time I volunteer, I think it’d be better to do so earlier. I don’t feel like I did much good today, as pretty much everyone I talked to had already voted. But it was a good experience, and it beat sitting at a computer and checking all those interactive maps obsessively…

And I just remembered the first (and last) time I volunteered in an election — it was a Get Out the Vote while I was in college, knocking on doors at my dorm. For Mike Dukakis, in 1988! I think today’s results will be better than those from 20 years(!) ago.

Here’s hoping we can turn North Carolina blue in all the various elections today!

4 thoughts on “Knocking on Doors in the Rain

  1. Sounds like a good story to tell the boys when they get older. I took the day off (we were going to try to go downtown, but we wouldnt even get close to where he was speaking.) So since Eric was checking the maps like crazy we had a date night to keep our minds off it. (ps- dont even think about seeing Max Payne horrible!!!)


  2. Mike,
    You’re awesome. I also wish I could have done more however I did feel pretty excited to see that Pennsylvania went blue as that is where I made my calls. In 88′ I voted in Stanley hall and under the influence of crazy Tammy I voted for Bush! Every vote since has been for a Dem. Take care. Cathi


  3. Thanks, everyone! It was good experience, and as Elizabeth said, it was “out of my comfort zone” — I hate going up and talking to strangers, even if they were (mostly) fellow Democrats.

    And we were going nuts all night last night, watching the reviews roll in — I think we burned out the buttons on our remote.

    Cathi — that’s so awesome that you helped make calls in PA! Thank you! Once PA went blue, and then Ohio, it was ALL OVER. Glad you learned from your early Bush misstep!!! 😉


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