Lessons from the Obama campaign
August 18, 2009 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Looking for best infodumps, narratives, archives, and analyses of Barack Obama's successful campaign for election, with a focus on volunteers and fundraising.

I know the number one thing leading to the campaign's success was one standard, general issue Barack H. Obama, so just assume I have a candidate, issue or idea that has a chance, that is a bit different, that is controversial yet also popular, that can be identified with hope and change. An Obama it is not, of course, but I think it's worth exploring Obama's campaign and seeing what can be taken away, because my orthodox methods are not working worth shit right now.

Insights I need most include:

- The development of the messaging the campaign used, particularly at the local and special interest group level, to recruit and motivate the fantastic numbers of field volunteers, particularly the ones that never knocked doors/delivered leaflets/made voter phone calls before. I'm also interested in getting volunteers that have never worked with a political party before.

- Insights into organisational strategies / campaign management strategies/other methods or resources that helped to lead to and sustain the huge number of volunteers.

- The development of the messaging and the organisational strategies used to recruit hundreds of small scale and repeat fundraisers, both online and offline.

Besides looking for narratives elsewhere online, I'm also interested in your lessons from experience campaigning, either from the top or from the ground. What worked as a call to action for you? I need people to be as inspired to work hard as I am, and I need a lot of new people to get to the scale I need. Even if these tactics are nowhere near as successful as they were for Obama, any reasonable rate of return on the time and resources invested here would give us an edge.

We have an awesome, awesome computer system to organise our field work, we just need more people power and more money.

I am aware that these methods go back to Dean and Before, so non-Obama stuff is ok too of course.

I can't give a lot of details of specifics here, but if you have advice or questions you would like to share you can send them to battycampaignmanager@gmail.com

Thanks very much for your help. This is a frightening and overwhelming experience but it's also a wonderful one. I've never wanted something to succeed as much as this in my entire professional life.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
They had a voter contact cycle that went like this:

- Data analysis is used to generate targets for canvassing and volunteer recruiting.
- Canvassers hit their targets.
- Canvassers report back.
- Field organizers update data.

The cycle was really short - at the longest, it took a week, at least during the last few months of the campaign. The data, as a result, was very 'alive', and the targeting got better and better.

Knowing was half the battle, and they made sure they knew.
posted by ignignokt at 10:48 AM on August 18, 2009

The Las Vegas Sun had a great write-up of the work we did in nevada.
posted by milinar at 1:40 PM on August 18, 2009

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