For Obama, Ohio Crushes Pennsylvania in Trash-Talking Knock-Off
Forget the candidates. The biggest political battle this weekend was between the Obama field staffs in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two big swing states. The two sides were locked into a ferocious war over who could knock on more voters’ doors.
The Obama campaign stoked the interstate rivalry by using an online scoreboard to keep track of the score. By Sunday night, the Ohio field staff had won narrowly, with more than 385,000 door knocks:
By the time it was all over, however, the trash-talking had gotten pretty intense.
Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/10/picture-121-150x150.pngTeam Ohio began jovially, uploading a taunting cartoon video promising tons of voter contacts.
Pennsylvania returned fire with star power — a video message from Nittany Lions star Lydell Sargeant, who tweaked his opponents for wasting time on videos, including the tag line “Pennsylvania: More Doors, Less Cartoons.” It did not end there.
Ohio went bigger than football — tapping Michelle Obama for a video riposte.
Obama celebrates PSU.
That’s hard to top, but Pennslyvania did with a trash-talking message from Barack Obama himself. “*She *knows better!” he says in the video, though unlike Michelle’s video, his was a mash-up.
While it was all in good fun, the state field operations are deadly serious. The Obama campaign has an unusually open, empowerment organizing philosophy that encourages volunteers to feel like they are part of something much larger than their daily voter-contact goals. That exciting, even touchy-feely vibe — from “we are the ones” rhetoric to fun contests like the door-knock contest — is anchored by a mastery of targeting and GOTV fundamentals that rivals any field operation in modern history. In other words, it’s one part Michael Whouley, one part Marshall Ganz. And it’s working.