Yesterday, for the first time since I began working on this campaign, attendance was down from the previous week at our phone bank. Every week before this, we had been increasing steadily.
Nearly 40% of the folks who RSVP'd for shifts did not show. When I contacted some of the no-shows telling them we missed their involvement, the response was universal and surprising.
Everyone thinks Obama has this in the bag. They've given enough already, they say, he doesn't need our help.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Early voting has begun all over the country. Millions of people are turning out now to make their voices heard. But unprecedented voter turnout brings with it unprecedented voter suppression. The Republicans are using legal challenges, home foreclosure lists, robo-calls, and voter intimidation to discourage people from voting. Our campaign offices in swing states have been shut down because of bomb-threats and suspicious white powder found in mailed envelopes. Our volunteer canvassers have been physically attacked.
It's going to get worse before it gets better. The McCain/Palin campaign is doing everything possible to delegitimize this election, hoping to stir up another 2000. The only way we can combat this is for Obama not just to win, but to win by an overwhelming majority. The Senator said it best in a conference call with our California volunteers earlier this week,
"Never before and probably never again will you be in a place with this much influence on making of history."
We cannot wake up Nov 5th with a McCain/Palin presidency, or with an Obama/Biden administration hobbled by endless Republican challenges to the very fabric of our democracy. We cannot stumble as we come to the end of this marathon. We've come too far, worked too hard to give up now.
We must finish well. We must finish strong.