On Saturday, I spent the day in Scranton, Pennsylvania with a large bunch of other Obama supporters from the New York area - knocking on doors and talking to undecided voters. As Pennsylvania is considered a swing state (or at best, "lean Obama"), time spent there is much more useful than time spent back in Brooklyn. As many studies have shown, for approximately every 14 door knocks, one new vote is generated from someone that otherwise would have stayed home, or voted the other way (compared to 1 vote for 35 phone calls, or a negligible impact for email forwards). Knocking on doors is the single most important thing you can do to help generate more votes for your candidate.
Scranton was big Hillary country in the Primaries, but is also home to Obama's VP running-mate Joe Biden. It's a very catholic, blue-collar, union, hard-working city. The main issues people talked about were the economy, the war, and abortion. (The NY Times had an article last week about the Catholic vote in Scranton.
The Scranton office was packed with volunteers. There was, conservatively, probably about 400 volunteers going canvassing. Their goal was 10,000 door knocks on Saturday alone, and I'd be surprised if they didn't reach that goal (I did about 40-50 doors myself). All in all, it was a very rewarding experience - I'm planning on going a couple more times before the election.
If you live in or near a swing state (per MSNBC:
Lean Obama: IA, MN, NJ, NM OR, PA, WA (76 votes)
Toss-up: CO, MI, NV, NH, OH, VA, WI (78 votes)
Lean McCain: FL, IN, MO, MT, NC (67 votes)
I strongly encourage you to go to www.barackobama.com or your local Obama field office (example: ny.barackobama.com for new york) and sign up for some door knocking yourself. It's fun!
Our New York-Scranton PA group on Saturday.