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Door-to-Door for Clinton

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By Jose Antonio Vargas

WEST DES MOINES--Caucus day is all about details -- and, in many instances, luck.

It just so happens that Tom Laughead, a precinct captain for Sen. Hillary Clinton, is off work on Thursdays. And caucus day, as luck would have it, fell on a Thursday.

So here he is, with less than six hours to go before doors open in his precinct, knocking on his neighbor's doors, making one last pitch. On his clipboard is a fresh voter list, provided by the Clinton campaign, of potential and definite Clinton supporters. It's an extensive list, with the name, age, gender, address, phone number of each voter -- and each voter is assigned a code. Someone who's a 2C is a Clinton supporter. Someone who's a 1C, like Laughead, is not only a supporter but also a volunteer.

He knocks on about 15 doors, with 20 more to go. If no one's home, he leaves a sign on the door that lists the time (arrive by 6:30 p.m.) and the place (Valley High School, 1140 35th Street) of the precinct. If someone answers, like his 86-year-old neighbor Jean Winegar, the pitch starts


"So who are you caucusing for today?" Laughead asks.

"Clinton," Winegar quickly says.

"Do you have a ride?" Laughead asks.

Winegar does. It's a sunny but frigid afternoon, and keeping warm is paramount. Laughead has four layers of clothing: two dry fits topped by two flannels. And gloves, of course. "Never forget the gloves," he says.

See more with Laughead here.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 3, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
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