Democrats ramp up grassroots efforts
June 17th, 2011
04:26 PM ET
11 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. kyle

    Hopefully this will fight the new GOP voter suppression laws.

    June 17, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. diridi

    obama, bring back jobs, esply manufacturing jobs, focus on Education, Energy independence...this energy independence is long overdue....o.k, tighten immigration.....then only you are safe....o.k, just work hard.....good luck.....need strong dollar now....

    June 17, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes indeedy, I'm in, and I'm hosting a gathering at my house this Sunday!!
    The response that I received last weekend when I wore the Birth Certificate t-shirt was overwhelmingly warm. Folks in my upper middle class neighborhood voiced their support for our President.Quite heartwarming!
    Obama 2012 all the way baby!!!!!

    June 17, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Bill

    Someone please refresh my memory. How many terms as U.S. senator did Barack Obama complete. I'm thinkin' NONE.

    June 17, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. fayse

    I believe that the President was a State Senator before he was elected a U.S Senator. The President is working very hard to help America. He is strong in the face of 24/7 bashing by the Republicans who want to see him fail and that means that all Middle class Americans will lose.

    June 17, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. gt

    i know a great place to find future voters... unemployment office... church soup kitchens.. welfare office...but they may not vote for him...

    June 17, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Common Sense

    Obama's policies have not been good for our economy. The man is very likable, but his policies are bad for our country (and opposed by the majority). I wish people would equate the man with his policies. If they did, he would be out of office after 2012.

    I think Dominican mama is a paid blogger (or CNN posting is her life). She posts all day, everyday.

    June 17, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. fayse

    I just looked it up. The President was a State Senator starting in 1996, he served 3 terms before being elected to U.S. Senator so, the often used phrase "community organizer" is misleading. True he was a Community Organizer as well. That job dosen't pay very well so, I would have to assume that a person does that in an effort to serve his community.

    June 17, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Bill

    Can't wait to see this fool out of office.

    June 17, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Are they putting up voter registration booths on the border with Mexico? Wouldn't put it by them. All those ACORN fraudsters had to go somewhere. And I'm sure they'll be recruiting the useful fools in the college ranks. Since they can't find jobs, complements of Obama, he can promise them government jobs. We REALLY need IDs at polling places or these people will continue to steal close elections with their voter fraud.

    June 17, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Looks like a nice diverse crowd! Where is all the diversity in the Democrat party gone? Or maybe the black vote is the only one left supporting this imbecile president.

    June 17, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Common Sense:
    Thanks for the shout out!

    June 17, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. FM

    This time it will work better than the last time. We have a lot of experience and we have determined to make it work and succeed. Hope and Change still florish in our hearts! Never, never give up!

    June 17, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    ... The President is working very hard to help America.
    You are confusing helping the Democratic Party with helping America. In that regard I agree with you. The President is working very hard to help the Democratic Party. But even Democrats have got to have a breaking point where they just throw up their hands and say, "...these are not the results we wanted!". Okay, I'm speculating. Maybe they are just peachy with where Obama has America is right now and they believe it's all gonna get better if we just give it a few more years...

    June 17, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Been there done that and doing it again. Hey....after both my husband and I lost jobs two years ago...we are now both working. It was great putting money back into our SAVINGS account. Love being a tax payer. Hey we are both over 50 and starting again. You may not start at the top but, if you work hard you will get there.

    June 17, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Mikey

    @ common sense – Obama inherited 7.8% unemployment and it's 9.1% now. Reagan inherited 7.5% unemployment and by this time in his first term it was over 10%. Reagan's first 9 quarters of GDP averaged 0.57%; Obama's averaged 1.56%. Obama has had 7 straight quarters of GDP growth and 15 straight months of private sector job growth. Reagan did nothing close in his first 28 months. The economy Obama inherited is universally recognized as the worst since the Great Depression, so by definition was worse than the one Reagan inherited.

    But Reagan was great and Obama is a failure, right? Give me a break.

    June 17, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. gg

    √ I'm In.

    June 17, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If the Republicans can't win this election, they will steal it, we've seen it in the past. Just like the saying goes "all hands on deck" let's keep "all heads up and alert" and report anything and everything. Democrats, Republicans and Independents have every reason to vote for President Obama; 1) Republicans are attempting to destroy the Middle Class, 2) Ryan's budget outsources medicare to private insurance companies and ultimately get rid of social security, 3) Bush era tax cuts for the rich, 4) Offcially institute Aparthied in this country and you better read about it before denying the facts.

    June 17, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country
    I read your rants with amusement most times. I enjoy seeing you and Four and the Door twist other people's posts to make your points, and twist facts or just create them to tear down the hardest working, and best President that this country has seen in decades. It is uncanny how you two stand by a Party that has done absolutely NOTHING for you (you don't come across as affluent), or the country since the first half-white (great term GI Joe!) President took office. Please inform us what this Party has done for you in the past 2 1/2 years besides make you empty promises that they had no intentions of keeping and taking your hard earned money to build up the Party that is keeping you feeling so bitter, outcasted and disenfranchised.
    God bless and keep you both, and remember their is no shame in taking your meds if it helps with what obviously ails you.

    June 17, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Claudia...I will be at the polls this year in Palm Beach County of all places. We will not let this state make anymore mistakes. Rick Scott is the last one. Maybe we can send our Felon Rick to Siberia with Rick Perry. The name Rick leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Lived in Houston, Dallas, and Austin all my life. Moved to Florida to be close to my aging parents. GO MAVS!!!

    June 17, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Vanessa

    Can't wait to cast my vote again for president Obama!!

    June 17, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    ... Please inform us what this Party has done for you in the past 2 1/2 years besides make you empty promises that they had no intentions of keeping and taking your hard earned money to build up the Party that is keeping you feeling so bitter, outcasted and disenfranchised.
    I'll take the bait and go with what the Republican House accomplished in a very clear way that has already paid off for every American with exactly what we voted them in for. The 2011 US Federal budget is $100 billion less because of the 2010 election results giving the House to the Republicans. Obama and Reid fought it with everything they had but in the end they didn't have much to fight with anymore.

    Other than that, they have stuck in a very disciplined way to what they promised up to the 2010 elections and I have never seen that work so well in Washington. I am proud of what they are doing for all of us.

    June 17, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Republican Robber Baron

    You got my vote...but please don't forget about your base and the basics of your campaign that beat the Clintons.
    You won because We the People that believed in you are sick and tired of the business as usual deadbeats in the party and especially the Corporatist-Lover Clintons. Sometimes I forget the Clintons are Dem' s they wrap themselves so closely with the Lobbyists.

    June 17, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. gg

    Thanks Mr. President for not letting the country falling like GREECE.

    June 17, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    He had me at "There are no red states, there are no blue states, there's the UNITED STATES".

    It's so different from the "other". And I'll work my butt of for him again. He will win.

    We will NOT allow fascism to take over OUR country.

    June 17, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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