Really, it started a few months ago, but these last few weeks are where it gets intense. Headed to a volunteer fair today for Mike Fitzpatrick. This is essentially where they gather people who want to help, and match them up with things they need done. After that it’s off for a few hours of phone banking for Rob Ciervo. Phone banking isn’t really as bad as one would think. It’s mostly leaving messages on machines. The idea is just to get your candidates name out there so people know who to vote for, and so you can help sway the undecided. On election day, you follow up with the “Did you vote yet?” call, trying to get them to the polls.
I always encourage NRA members to wear an NRA hat, an NRA pin, or something to identify yourself as part of the “gun vote,” mostly so that the local endorsees understand where their bread is getting buttered. I get a lot of people we try to recruit saying “Well, I already volunteer with the GOP.” Around here, if you’re pro-gun, you’re probably a Republican, but that’s not universal. We also have more than a few Republicans who need to improve. It’s great to volunteer directly to parties and campaigns, but that doesn’t help me gain leverage over them for the gun issue. Once the political establishment starts seeing a “gun vote” around, they know there’s energy out there for it. They also know there’s something to lose by voting the wrong way, and something to gain by voting the right way.
Politicians are very self-interested, for the most part. They may tell you it’s all about serving the public, but it’s really all about staying in office. There are true believers out there, but they are rare birds, and that usually only happens when they are gunnies themselves. The key to winning is knowing what motivates this particular species, and baiting them properly.