Since sometime in January I’ve been doing outreach phone calling to voters for Bernie Sanders. I’ve spent an hour making calls 20-25 times over that time. It’s both a strategic and easy way to support his campaign, and I urge others who haven’t been doing so yet to do so.
It’s a particularly appropriate way to support the Sanders campaign at a time when door-to-door canvassing and mass rallies are out, and when a lot of people are working at home.
I’ve found it to be interesting work. The Sanders campaign has a high-tech, easy to learn, phone calling system. I literally only need to make one telephone call the entire time, calling in to get connected to the system. From then on, the system does the phone calling, I talk to people once they pick up, and after the call ends I report the results by clicking on the most accurate button of about 20 as to what happened. As soon as I send that report, someone else’s number is being called, with the name I’m to ask for up on the screen as they answer.
I reach about 30 people an hour. The calls are to identify, or recruit through conversation, Sanders supporters.
I’ve called people in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, California, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida and Wisconsin so far. The best responses overall, far and away, have been the Nevada and California calls. Worst has been Florida. The responses I have gotten have usually foreshadowed how the voting on election day turns out.
My latest phone-calling has been to Wisconsin. I discovered the second time doing so that I got a better response if I spoke up front about Bernie’s long history of fighting for universal health care/Medicare for All. When I reported this to the campaign, I was glad to see when I made Wisconsin calls for the third time last evening, the script had been changed to emphasize this issue.
It’s good to be doing this work. It’s good to know I’m one of many thousands of Bernie volunteers doing so. It’ll be even better to learn that many more Bernie supporters have signed on at this critical time in the campaign to do the same—go to https://berniesanders.com/call/national.
This race is not over!
Ted Glick is the author of the forthcoming Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in Catholic Left Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.