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TDS Contributor Bob Creamer on GOTV (Get out the vote)



First and foremost, for Democrats to beat the odds next Tuesday, our get out the vote operations must function flawlessly. Basically, these operations must defy the "likely voter" models that have dictated the gloomy scenario in most polls.

There is little question that between the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the DNC's Organize for America (OFA), the individual campaigns, and Democratic allies like AFSCME, AFL-CIO, SEIU, MoveOn.org, USAction, NEA, Center for Community Change, et al, Progressives are conducting the most effective Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort of any Mid-term in history. Many Latino, African American and women's organizations are also conducting special programs targeting their communities.

Many of the veterans of the Obama campaign -- which ran the most effective GOTV program in American history -- are deeply involved. The culture and systems developed by the Obama field structure will go a long way to creating well oiled, efficient GOTV organizations. Well organized coordinated campaigns are functioning in key states, focusing heavily on early voting and mail vote in many, and this accounts for a robust showing by Democratic-registered voters in many states. And they all plan massive 72-hour voter contact drills and Election Day operations to run votes.

Democrats are relying heavily on door-to-door contact, while Republicans use paid phone calls and mail. But studies show conclusively that door-to-door contacts are far superior to phones and mail.

Over the next five days, Democrats have to deliver in the field if they intend to upset the odds. We must make millions of door-to-door and phone contacts. We must repeatedly contact voters who would vote Democratic, but our unlikely to vote. We need to explain to these voters how critical it is that they vote. And we need to deliver that very effective Election Day message: "I won't get off your porch until you vote!"

Everyone, no matter where you live can increase Democratic effectiveness in getting out the vote. Pick up the phone and call your local campaign, Democratic Party, your union, or MoveOn.org. Volunteer to go door to door or get on the phones.

We know from research that the more we contact mobilizable voters, the more likely they are to vote. You don't have to "persuade" them, you just have to contact them. You just have to get their attention, and the likelihood they'll vote goes way up.

And if you don't live where there is a critical campaign, you can still get involved. OFA and MoveOn both have programs that allow you to call voters in swing states from the comfort of your own home.

To volunteer, go to OFA.BO/GOTV

To call swing districts: Call.BarackObama.com. That will automatically give you a targeted list of voters in a swing district.

To volunteer with MoveON with a campaign near your home, go here: www.moveon.org/2010

If you want to call from home, go here: pol.moveon.org/2010

If you want to go to a MoveOn campaign event, go here: pol.moveon.org/event/lastchance