MoveOn's Regional Move
By Garance Franke-Ruta
When the antiwar group MoveOn.org endorsed Barack Obama recently, that brought the insurgent-turned-front-runner more than just money or the imprimatur of one of the most visible institutions on the American left. It also brought forth a serious peer-to-peer get out the vote operation designed to bring MoveOn's activist members -- many of whom are intensely civically engaged already -- to the polls.
Since endorsing Obama on Feb. 1, the group says its members have sent more than 521,000 e-mails to their friends in upcoming primary and caucus states, encouraging them to vote for the Illinois senator and personally endorsing him. "All the studies show that the most effective get-out-the-vote mechanism is recommendations from friends and family members," says MoveOn communications director Ilyse Hogue. "We've been mobilizing our members since the endorsement in a sweep across the nation."
Launched last Wednesday, the "Endorse-O-Thon" (that being an "O" for Obama, of course) peer-to-peer e-mail drive first targeted the caucus and primary states that voted last weekend, then pivoted to focus on MoveOn members and their friends in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. MoveOn has 20,000 members in the District, 62,000 in Maryland, and 66,000 in Virginia, according to Hogue -- more than enough to provide a margin of victory in today's races.
"We made sure everyone of our members in the Chesapeake region had accurate information about their polling place," as well, says Hogue. District residents, for example, were sent e-mails today announcing "It's Time to Vote!" along with a clickable link to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics polling place locator search page. The e-mail also contained text for a sample letter endorsing Obama, for recipients to send out to their friends. "We have reason to believe they are very effective," says Hogue of these e-mails. "We're very confident that this is getting our members out...to vote for Obama."
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February 12, 2008; 4:36 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , Primaries , The Democrats , The Hidden Campaign
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