Sunday, August 02, 2009

Notes from a Tampa Bay Expat

The rain is coming down hard and the danger of lightning has basically scuttled my canvass for the day. Nothing to do but sit in the local coffeehouse (no alcohol - I'm still on the clock) and finish some paperwork until I hit the rubber chicken circuit (or chicken bbq circuit to be precise) later this afternoon.

Not that it doesn't rain every day in Tampa Bay, too, but I do miss home right now.

I have been advising on the side with a county candidate running over here about some basic field tactics.

We first went over some basic scheduling - this candidate had been hitting her home community, too often. This was a mistake because she should already have her home community locked up. They know her well and it's a heavily Democratic town. The turnout is low, relative to the rest of the county, so her focus should be on the 50/50 precincts and communities. As the second half of October rolls around, then she should focus on those areas that are her base - whether because she lives there or because they are naturally Democratic leaning. Until then, it's all about the undecided voters.

I also went into tracking results. I keep track of every door a candidate, canvasser or volunteer hits. I have a plan for reaching my goals and it is very important to know how close I am hitting it.

Why? First of all, as my old boss used to say, "that which gets measured, get done."

Secondly, if you're not reaching your goals, your plan may have to be revised. It's important to have a plan for victory premised on what you can actually accomplish. If you're surpassing your goals, you want to expand your universe, but you don't want to just do it randomly - there's a reason it's called a "plan" not "random collection of notes, lists, and excel spreadsheet printouts."


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