Fair. Balanced. American.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

On-the-ground w/SE Wisc. Dems (1 of 6): The State of Enthusiasm among Volunteers and Voters.

Yesterday (Sat.) I headed up from Chicago to volunteer with Wisconsin Dems in one of the industrial cities across the border, since it's an easy hour-and-a-half trip and there's a lot of important elections in Wisc. right now.

I had done this a couple time during the Walker recall election, but this was the 1st time I had been back since election day.

Even on election day, Dems were worried about loss of enthusiasm...  During the afterparty in Racine, the one Dem who succeeded in the recall election and became state senator and flipped the state senate to Dem. majority had said in an early-in-the-night speech that no matter what happened, people had to keep fighting, and to take a month off and rest and see families, and then come back strong after the 4th of July.

In terms of volunteers, it's not clear if that's happening. 

On the one hand, an organizer said people have started popping up, though every 3 weeks rather than every week, and also that Organizing for American in Kenosha only just this weekend had its "first day of action", since everyone was so burned out.  Volunteer counts that weekend were also lower than expected in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha (but that may have been because of the nice weather?).

On the other hand, local volunteers who were there said that there's a ton of local races and volunteers are split between them and working out of different campaign offices, and both they and the organizers said they expect a huge influx of volunteers after the mid-August primary.

Among voters who I talked with when I went door-to-door, people said they were bummed that Walker got recalled and people said they heard people complaining that their vote didn't make a difference, but when I pressed them, they said they didn't actually know anyone who had given up volunteering or was going to stop voting, and all of them said that they were personally going to harass friends and family to keep voting Democratic.

If anything, though, election fatigue seems to be hitting some voters: between canvassers, ads, articles, and whatnot, everyone seems to feel that they've been in a constant state of election cycles for well over a year now, ever since Walker tried to ram through the union-busting bills and the left woke up.

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