Democrats ramp up grassroots efforts
June 17th, 2011
04:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Democrats ramp up grassroots efforts

Washington (CNN) – Thousands of Democratic activists are going to hit the streets Saturday trying to register voters-and at the time same help the Obama re-election campaign increase its roster of potential supporters.

Across the nation volunteers from the Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America (OFA) effort will be both helping new voters register and make sure others' information is up to date. In addition this effort will help bolster the re-election campaign's list of potential supporters when they ask people to sing "I'm In" pledges, one Obama re-election campaign official told CNN.

This is the latest initiative by the Democrats to reach out both to previous supporters of the President's as well as bring in new people to try to get them involved – especially with some backers having voiced disappointment with the Obama Administration whether it be over the failure of fulfill some previous campaign promises or the lack of success over other ones.

Since the re-election campaign launched in April, it has worked hard to reactivate the grassroots strength that was a big success in 2008 by enlisting volunteers to talk to supporters – neighbors, co-workers and the like – in person to discuss the President's successes and to start getting people engaged.

"These are volunteers connecting with their networks," the Obama campaign official told CNN.

Helping in this process are the activists who have been working with the OFA in the past few years to push the Democrats' agenda.

The Obama campaign official told CNN " 2011 is about infrastructure for the entire year."

On Monday, for example, the campaign sponsored an online planning session to plan future projects.

"Run by volunteers and based in local communities, this campaign will be the largest grassroots effort in the history of American elections," vowed Jeremy Bird, national field director for Obama in America, in an email to supporters.

He said over the next several weeks the campaign planned to hold hundreds of sessions across the country – both online and in person – trying to get people involved and motivated. One way it is doing that is to try to emphasize how campaign leaders plan to listen to those on at the local level and volunteer driven. At these sessions attendees will discuss how to build neighborhood teams and plan for house meetings.

The campaign is also working to lay the foundation on the financial end. While the President has attended more than a dozen major fundraisers across the country whose proceeds are split between the campaign and the DNC, the Obama team is also working to maximize the number of its small donors.

It just sent out an email solicitation offering three donors who give at least $5 a chance to have dinner with the President.

"It's not often you get to talk to the President one on one about your hopes for the country and your ideas for this campaign. So I hope you'll put your name in the running," read the e-mail.

Earlier this month the campaign sent out a separate solicitation urging action by saying one supporter had pledged to match donations for those making their firs contribution.

For the DNC and the re-election officials have set a fundraising goal of $60 million, the official confirmed to CNN.

The campaign is also beginning to its work on the ground. The campaign has put some paid staffers in key states, the official told CNN. The official though would not disclose specifically how many or where.

You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Democrats • Organizing for America • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Wazza

    Why are they singing pledges?

    June 17, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Wazza

    Instead of asking people to sing "I'm In" pledges, maybe they should ask people to sign "I'm In" pledges.

    June 17, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Darrell

    My voter recruiting, my money and my money is on Obama....I like to read/hear people call his time in office as a failure. I like to read/hear that he is a socialist. Yet, these same people fail to recognize that GWB, with a Harvard MBA, help drive capitalism to is its knees. They fail to recognize that the US economy was producing negative growth and 700,000 jobs lost per month, 18 million total job lost, during the GWB/Republican recession. They fail to recognize that GWB turned a surplus into a deficit. They fail to recognize that the Captains of Capitalism, that is Wall Street, bet on the future of Am. and lost. And, between 2000- 2007, 40,000 US companies left the country in search of cheap labor...this time period was under GWB leadership.

    I cannot help but think these critics of the Obama Administration are more interested in him failing because he is actually doing something right to help this country. Sure, the unemployment number is high. Please tell me where are you going to find 18 millions new jobs, especially when the experts believe that nearly 40% or more of the jobs were lost relating to housing development, an industry that will see its brighter days again for many years.

    To the Obama critics/haters, you talk a good game, but often you talk with no facts on your side. The facts are real: we are heading from negative economic growth to positive economic growth, albeit slowly...instead of monthly job lose, we are getting monthly job growth, again albeit slowly. If you wizards are great at move things to a greater level, then why don't you put your hat in the ring and run for surely bet the clowns, in the Republican candidates that have announced or expected to announce. Talk is cheap...put your money where your mouth is...shut up and put up!

    June 17, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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