Friday, June 6, 2008

Thanks to our Voters for Obama coalition members

We started this project after Super Tuesday, when it became a real possibility that the Democratic superdelegates would decide the race. The delegate count between Obama and Clinton was close enough to foresee neither one would be able to win enough pledged delegates in the remaining contests to be nominated. Sure enough, this prediction came true.

Working together, we made a difference. Our website launched on President's Day (Feb. 19) and helped voters from around the country generate an estimated several thousand e-mails and phone calls to superdelegates. Volunteers gathered thousands more signatures on petitions in seven states including North Carolina, where we first organized.

In mid-Feburary, approximately 400 superdelegates remained uncommitted. We targeted half of them, mostly elected officials and state Democratic party leaders, who we thought would be the most responsive to their constituents and rank-and-file Democrats in each state. Of the 205 superdelegates we posted contact info for, 130 of them (63%) endorsed Obama during the three and a half months leading up to June 4, when Hillary announced her intention to suspend campaigning. 56 superdelegates that we lobbied (27%) remained neutral, while only 19 (or 9%) came out for Hillary. Our target superdelegates delivered an 111-delegate net gain for Obama.

(Superdelegate endorsement graph courtesy of DemConWatch)

We would like to thank all our Voters for Obama coalition members, volunteers, and supporters. Special thanks go out to co-organizers M.L. Dexter, who did most of the superdelegate research necessary to first set up our site, and Dana Lumsden, for his enthusiasm and unwavering support; SuperVoters Susan Baylies and Scott Priz, for being willing to put on capes for Obama and help deliver 2,000 signed petitions to N.C. Gov. Mike Easley; and local organizer Cristobal Palmer, whose tireless efforts helped make our N.C. petition drive a success.

Thanks to our organizers in other states including co-organizers Jason Zauder in Florida and Dexter Ulith in South Carolina, plus Latoya Anderson in New Jersey, Chris Oquist in Massachusetts, and Jenifer Lewis in Maine, and our volunteers and supporters including Marie Garlock, Kathy Felher (along with her kids, our youngest volunteers), Kathie Young, Fritz Kroncke, Josh Wynne, Dance Design of Chapel Hill for loaning us costumes, Jan Hunt in Oregon, and Christie from Connecticut, who drove down to North Carolina as a volunteer for the Obama campaign and helped us register over 100 voters on the last day of voter registration before N.C.’s May 6 primary.

Thanks also to Oreo and Matt from Democratic Convention Watch, whose website was invaluable to keeping our superdelegate endorsement info updated, Jo Lee of, Jennifer Nix of the Superdelegate Transparency Project, all the reporters who covered us, plus those who put up with our press releases, the nearly 3,000 North Carolina voters from Boone to Ocracoke, Charlotte to Wilmington, even Apex to Zebulon who signed petitions to N.C. superdelegates, including local celebrities like legendary former Carolina point guard Phil Ford and Big Fish author Daniel Wallace, and everyone who joined our Facebook group or added us as a friend on MySpace.

And a big thanks to everyone who visited our site and used the tools here to call, e-mail, or sign a petition to superdelegates for Obama. We let our party leaders know their constituents wanted Obama to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, and they listened!

Erik Ose, Co-organizer, Voters for Obama
Chapel Hill, NC

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