Monday, February 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Campaign Manager Spent Final Hours Knocking on Doors in Iowa

Boy, they're really trying to avoid the mistakes of the 2008 campaign, heh!

At Boomberg, "Robby Mook Returns to Field Organizing for Final Iowa Push":
With hours to go until his boss faces voters for the first time in eight years, Robby Mook was doing the same, knocking on doors in a small corner of a Des Moines suburb.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager could’ve spent Saturday afternoon holed up in headquarters, shuttling around the state with the candidate or schmoozing politicos in the lobby of the Marriott. Instead, he was making his way through a solidly middle class Urbandale neighborhood, checking in with committed supporters.

“Hey! My name’s Robby. I’m here with Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” he says once it's clear that the person answering the door is the person on the list of confirmed supporters that he picked up from a nearby field office, just as any volunteer would. “I was just coming by to remind you about the caucus on Monday.”

Though two Bloomberg journalists spent about 45 minutes watching Mook visit 15 houses on a gray but warm-for-January afternoon, it wasn’t just a photo-op. He would’ve been doing this without reporters watching him and planned to do it again on Sunday and Monday, schedule permitting. In all, people at eight houses answered their doors, five of whom said they would be caucusing for Clinton. At one door, a man supporting former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said that his wife—who was out of the house when Mook visited—was the Clinton supporter. At another, a man identified as a Clinton supporter seemed to be engaged in a tense moment with his son. A woman said she and her husband were Clinton supporters but that she had a doctor's appointment and may not be able to make it.

Mook has built his career on field work—the collection and analysis of meticulous data. He proved himself as her 2008 state director in Nevada, Ohio and Indiana. And when it was time to build her 2016 team, the lessons of being out-organized by Barack Obama in Iowa and beyond made Mook, a 36-year-old Vermont native, Clinton’s choice for the job.

Clinton had a slim three-point lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent, in the final Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers, conducted Jan. 26-29. With the race so tight, both campaigns are determined to get their low-hanging fruit – committed supporters – to caucus sites. The Sanders campaign said its volunteers knocked on close to 77,000 doors on Friday and Saturday, while the Clinton campaign knocked on more than 125,000 doors over the weekend.

“Part of this is just simply having a human interaction where we remind them," Mook says while walking along a winding residential street that changed names three times in the span of a few dozen houses. “But a really important part of this is actively making a plan with them. So if I get someone in person, I want to make sure that they’ve made sure they’ve thought about where they’re gonna leave from to go to the caucus, how they’re getting there and if they’re bringing anyone with them. We know that if they have a plan in place, they’re more likely to show up.”
The Iowa caucuses have never been more important, which is amazing, considering it's the most intense style of retail politics you could have, and we live in an era of the highest electronic technology we've ever seen. But with the campaigns on both sides too close to call, the ground game is the be all end all of 2016.


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