Turnout is the core dynamic

The Bee has a story this morning that really zeroes in on the core dynamic of this race: turnout. The sense that you get of how things are going is one of the best byproducts of particpating in a ground campaign. (the number one best thing is the interaction: every time you go out it’s like your own little private focus group.) Of course you can’t overgeneralize – you may be talking to a universe of voters (campaign-speak for a targeted group) that isn’t remotely representative of the whole, your sample size is typically pretty small, etc. But it’s suprising how often the ground-feel of a campaign turns out to be pretty right on.
WIth the above caveats in mind, based on the walk I did near my neighborhood in San Francisco yesterday, things aren’t bad. People are starting to realize that although we can’t yet move our own agenda, we do have a chance to say no, things are going the wrong direction. There’s a lot of anger about both President Bush and the Governor, but this election is about saying no to the whole regressive conservative agenda, not just them personally.
There is still quite a bit of confusion though, as the anecdotal evidence in the Bee story indicates. Along with the really funny and good lit that the Alliance had for the walk, I brought along copies of our voter guide. The response to it has been just overwhelmingly positive – even just the printed out summary version that I was handing out seemed like it was really helpful to people. So keep getting that sucker out there!