Start the landslide from your kitchen

By Jay Stevens 

The excitement across Missoula is palpable today. The rally at the Children’s museum was raucous. Monica Lindeen, Max Baucus, Pat Williams, John Melcher, and Brian Schweitzer were all there to support Tester. Nearly everyone in the room – two hundred? – had already voted and had volunteered or is going to volunteer on Election Day. It’s safe to say that Missoula is firmly in Tester’s camp.

It’s not too late to volunteer. Tester’s blog has the numbers, addresses, and contacts for all the major Democratic headquarters throughout the state. If you’re shy about cold-calling or knocking on doors, there is plenty you can still do for Tester on Election Day. Transport people to the polls. Support the poll watchers. Paperwork, errand-running, anything.

You can also help out on your own. Proudly display a Tester button on your lapel, put up a sign in your window or on your lawn. Engage everybody who looks interested. If they’re unsure, tell them – honestly, but not condescendingly or with anger – why you’re backing Tester.

You can also call anybody you know who might not vote. An elderly neighbor. A single mom. Offer them a ride or babysitting in exchange for the few minutes it will take to vote. Call all your friends and remind them to go out and vote. Urge all your Tester-backing friends to do the same.

Both parties have organized machines to get out the vote. Give it the personal touch and start the landslide from your kitchen.

And you know what? Things look very good for the Democrats right now in Montana, based on anecdotal evidence. Here’s a comment from athene-owl here in Missoula:

I just voted early at the Missoula County courthouse, fifteen minutes before the cutoff for absentee ballots (noon) and there was a line out the door. It was a pretty charged environment. One guy said he hadn’t voted for ten years.

Does a guy come out of a ten-year hiatus to vote for Conrad Burns? No, I don’t think so, either.

Here’s part of an email from a Democratic activist in the Flathead involved in GOTV efforts there:

A friend of mine called me to go the Cheney event to scout the opposition. I said no, I would spend that time phone banking. (Which I did.) She went, and said it was a very low energy affair. They tried to get a chant going several times “Conrad”… and couldn’t… it just died. She said Burns didn’t work the crowd, he just appeared on stage for a few minutes and left. Dick Cheney spent his time talking about “Boogie men, Democrats.” She said the crowd did not appear to get energized by the affair.She then joined me at the Tester rally in Kalispell on Wednesday. She said the energy difference was very noticeable. We had over 500 people there. I grew up here, and I can’t remember seeing 500 Democrats together in the Flathead ever. And more importantly I saw traditional moderate conservatives excited about Tester. They have crossed over!

I spent about 5 hours house canvassing in Kalispell yesterday. We saw a rental car van, dropping college students with Burns campaign literature. People are getting tired of being called, and contacted.

I’m going to steal this next line of thought from the Governor, who gave a much more spirited rendition about an hour ago: A lot of people talk about the vaunted GOTV machine of the GOP. They’re shipping people in from all over the country. They’re sending in lawyers from Philadelphia and New Jersey to discourage voting in low-income areas and on the reservations across the state. And all we’ve got is you.

Advantage, ours.

One quick last note. Schweitzer mentioned in his speech today that Missoula was instrumental in his election. He got 31,000 and change votes from this county. If Tester wins a thousand more – 32,000 and change – he’ll go to the Griz-Cats football game and allow Monty to tackle him in the North End Zone.

Let’s let that bear loose on our governor!

  1. Mark

    Not being condescending or angry must have been a stretch for you. What, no lectures on how someone not voting for Tester is just not schooled in economics, American or World history…in other words just not as learned as you?

  2. Boaz Hansen

    Of course Missoula’s going to Tester’s camp. They should be fighting for Bozeman and Billings.

  3. Not being condescending or angry must have been a stretch for you. What, no lectures on how someone not voting for Tester is just not schooled in economics, American or World history…in other words just not as learned as you?

    Apparently, you’re weaker than I.

  4. Please let’s get this over with. I’m mentally prepared for a Koopman win, but a Tester loss would be hard to take.

  5. “They should be fighting for Bozeman and Billings.”

    The fight is definately ON for Bozeman, but experience shows me that the only way to wean piglets is to remove access to the sow’s teats.

  6. TMM

    “You can also call anybody you know who might not vote.”

    “People are getting tired of being called, and contacted.”

  7. The people on the lists are getting called. Not the undecideds or the unregistered or the independent or those that never gave money or signed up on a list.

    Plus, it’s not so bad when a friend or neighbor calls instead of a random GOTVer. IMHO.

    I’ve been called a bunch of times, too. And had people ring my bell. And seen all the d*mn commercials.

  8. TMM

    I’d agree to that. I’m sure we’ve all been called too much, especially by the script readers. Though the people I know who have called me sure seem to be twisting on the other end of the phone. I chalk it up to ‘I’ll stay out of your business if you stay out of mine’ Western values. Friends giving you cold calls about politics are about as comfortable as me in pantie hose (I won’t tell you how I know).

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