Are we going to give in to the fear, or are we going to fight back? I'm ready to fight back.
Fighting back is an act of patriotism. pic.twitter.com/HSBFyVgz3J
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 28, 2020
This Washington Post article is by Annie Linskey, who’s professionally hate-stalking Elizabeth Warren like Amy Chozik did Hillary Clinton in 2016, but this still sounds like excellent politicking to me:
… Before her town hall meetings, Warren (D-Mass.) virtually always holds a private discussion with five to 40 carefully selected voters, from those who are wavering to potential endorsers. At a moment in the presidential campaign when raucous rallies are the order of the day, the sessions provide unusually intimate access for Iowans who have emerged as the high-value targets of this final, desperate sprint to the caucuses: highly active but still undecided Democrats.
These “clutches,” as the campaign calls them, are just one part of Warren’s obsessively detailed organization in Iowa, one that reflects the candidate’s methodical personality and sets her apart from every other contender. As her polls take an ominous dip just days before the Feb. 3 caucuses, Warren’s big bet is that her unprecedented organizing machine will rescue her showing in Iowa, essentially saving her candidacy.
“It’s been a year of town halls and questions and a lot of selfies — it’s been a lot of fun,” Warren told Democratic officials Saturday at a gala in Scott County. But, she added, “there’s also been a part that’s not quite so visible: It’s been a year of organizing. It’s been a year of people on the ground.” And that, she said, “is how we’re going to win in 2020.”
And it has been almost microscopic. The campaign made a detailed study of almost all of the state’s more than 1,600 precincts to determine how to maximize support. It divided Iowa into nine zones and made an early investment deploying numerous operatives in each one, including remote towns and areas unlikely to support Warren.
To decide whom to invite to her intimate clutches, which last 25 to 30 minutes, the campaign mounted an extensive data-gathering effort to uncover not only who supports her but also who might switch under the right circumstances…
For Warren, the bet on Iowa and organization was made long ago. One of her key early decisions was to bulk up fast in the state, hiring 50 staff members by the spring of 2019, far outpacing all other campaigns. Early in the campaign, Warren’s team handed out stickers that read: “It all begins in Iowa.”
It has gotten only more elaborate. In recent weeks, some Warren organizers have touted their successes online, with operatives in Sioux City, Washington County, Jefferson County, Cedar Falls and Council Bluffs announcing that they have precinct captains for every precinct in their jurisdiction. The campaign declined to say how many precinct captains they have identified statewide…
Warren’s team has about 150 organizers in Iowa, according to the campaign. Although that is no longer the biggest footprint, Warren’s advantage comes from being here early.
In urban areas, her team assigned one organizer to a single county, while in rural regions, each organizer oversaw two or three counties at most. Meanwhile, staff members for other candidates were sometimes assigned as many as a dozen counties, a tough job in rural parts of the state where Democrats are often spread out and meeting them requires long drives.
“I think the Warren campaign smartly decided very early on that turf like that is not how you build relationships,” said one Iowa Democrat. “You can’t get to know people in a real way if you’re driving three or four hours or more every day.”…
“When I knock [on] doors, they all say, ‘Oh, I love Elizabeth. She has the best plans, and I think she’d be the best president. But I don’t know if she can win,” said Peter Leo, chairman of the Carroll County Democrats, who endorsed Warren last fall. “My hurdle as a volunteer for her has been to convince people to go with that gut feeling that Elizabeth Warren is the president that we need.”
And not just in Iowa, either…
When I was coordinating the #shethepeople2020 forum, Warren’s staff were all Black women. Activists who shaped the questions still tell me all the time how EW or the campaign called to follow-up on policy thoughts.
— Jessica Byrd (@JessicaLBYRD) January 27, 2020