Al is a Twitter friend of mine, who follows Grassroots politics closely. Just before last night's election, he posted some interesting points about how things were handled differently in Alabama this go 'round, and that maybe...just maybe..this is a lesson for how we compete going forward:
1.Just spoke with a source in the Mobile (AL) County NAACP. Here are some things that are happening today on the ground in Alabama that did not happen in the 2016 election. Thread:
2. The state NAACP instructed its local branches to call every registered voter in the state who did not vote in 2016. The Lower Alabama chapter made it through the entire list successfully.
3. A dozen paid canvassers have been going door to door in the Mobile area all week. That did not happen in 2016,
4. What was last year an ad hoc effort by “a group of friends” to offer rides to the polls is today more than a dozen organizations doing rides-to-the-polls with resources for drivers.
5. Once the Jones campaign had money it bought billboards in African-American neighborhoods with the election date and a quick blurb about Jones. This was not on highways but in places where one normally sees fast-food or cigarette ads.
6. The Mobile NAACP crunched the numbers and showed local pastoral leadership that whatever they had done in recent years to turn out voters wasn’t working. The pastors then pushed for and got resources to do congregation-wide robo calls and voter reg tables at church events.
7. At school alumni parties the local NAACP handed out several thousand flyers with election dates, registration deadlines, absentee deadlines, voter ID requirements. They also brought these paper reminders door to door in a canvass.
8. Mobile is one of the redder counties in Alabama. Even larger efforts have done many of the same things in Montgomery, Huntsville, Birmingham and the so-called Black Belt since resources arrived in mid-November.
9. Beyond the NAACP, there are many other black voter mobilization groups with boots on the ground in AL communities doing similar, extremely important work. One of them is The Ordinary People Society (TOPS). TOPS registered 5,000 in 22 jails and 10 prisons in the last two weeks!
10. Note: These resources were provided by many of you. We raised $10,000+ here on Twitter in a single evening for the Jones campaign. Many others did the same with their networks. This thread shows how much of it was spent on field organizing.
11. Nothing like these grassroots efforts happened in 2016 in Alabama. The people who have been doing them are feeling good today. They think they have a shot. And they’ll be working hard until polls close to make it so.
12. These reports are also consistent with how the DNC spent money to win special elections in Virginia and other states. More money for field and GOTV. Less for TV ads. This is the @TomPerez era at work. End memo.
You can follow Al on Twitter at @AlGiordano.