I’m here to counter the media narrative and blogger narrative. That John Edwards, as a result of time and history, has the best Iowa caucus organization. That Hillary Clinton, due to the machine behind her, has the most effective organization in Iowa.
Crossposted at DailyKos
No. Barack Obama has the best organization in Iowa, hands down. A tested, proven organization.
There are three major visibility events in Iowa before the caucuses, the first being the Drake debate, the second the Harkin Steak Fry, and the third the Jefferson Jackson Dinner. There are numerous minor events, sign wars, etc, but these three events are a test of each campaigns ability to bring out its supporters, and a general test of its organizational strength.
One campaign stood out at all three of these visibility events. Barack Obama.
The Drake Debate: Late August
An early test of Iowa caucus organizational strength, hundreds of Obama supporters showed up at the wee hours of the morning to cheer on Barack before the Drake Debate.
The Harkin Steak Fry: Mid September
I think this video says it all. Fast forward to the 3:05 mark!
Out of an estimated 6000 attendees, almost half were Barack Obama supporters, and of the other half, at least 1,000 were undecided voters.
the made-for-TV moment was won by the Obama campaign. It wasn’t quite the march on Washington, but Barack Obama — leading a column of about 1,000 supporters — marched along a dirt road and along the rolling green fields leading into the steak fry, waving signs, chanting, and appearing to present the candidate as the messiah of “change” and “hope.”
The Huffington Post
Obama held a rally there before hand with 2,500 supporters there and then they all marched into the Ballon Field led by the Des Moines Isiserettes. I didn’t attend the rally, but say the swarm coming in, and it was a sight to see. My wife went on and on about how well organized and smoothly it ran.
But what is most important is what the supporters said
I would like to thank all of the Obama volunteers, staff, and supporters who made the Harkin Steak Fry a memorable event.
What an incredibly united movement we are creating with Senator Obama.
The Jefferson Jackson Dinner
The only of the three I attended, and easily the most memorable political event of my life. From the pre-rally with 5,000 people, to the event in the auditorium with 3,000 Obama supporters, almost half of the total attendance. But the most amazing thing was the organization, how prepared the staff were with signs, water, instructions on what to do, and they truly maximized the effect of the crowd and kept everyone pretty happy throughout the five hour long event.
3,000 people on a dreary, rainy Saturday evening to spend five hours watching dull political speeches? The truth is – Barack Obama was able to turn out more Iowans than Hillary Clinton and John Edwards to the Jefferson Jackson dinner to spend half of their day at a generally dull, boring event. If Obama can turn out 5,000 people in Des Moines for this, who is to say that on a cold snowy Iowan day, he can’t turn out more dedicated supporters than the other campaigns? Barack Obama has the proven ground game in Iowa, and on caucus night, we’ll see the true power of this organization in its ability to bring out new caucus goers.
1000 House Parties, one month before the caucuses. Precinct captains in nearly every precinct. Tested, proven, fired up and ready to go!
I believe the writing is on the wall. Obama’s organization CAN and WILL turn out its supporters for the caucuses. His organization has proved that it knows how to bring people out. Whether this equals caucus victory, we’ll have to see. But at this moment in the game, I wouldn’t trade Obama’s organization for that of any other candidate, I have complete confidence in Obama’s ground game.