I don’t think we yet understand the enormity of Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa, so let me start with an email from a friend of a friend I met in Southeast Asia, which I recieved only hours after the caucus ended.
Don’t know if you know me, I’m one of Kathrin’s friends who was visiting her in Cambodia during February/March. She was telling me you were campaining for Obama in Iowa and I just wanted to congratulate you, it was a great day and a great speech at the end of it. The coverage in Europe is massive and liberal people here would look forward to have him as your president! Wish you all the best for the further race! Keep going!
Read this great diary by Anna on the international reaction to Obama’s win. For the first time in years, people abroad have a reason to hope in America’s leadership once again.
But that is not why Obama won. Obama won because of one simple word – ORGANIZATION.
I argued a few weeks ago that Barack Obama’s campaign had the best organization in Iowa. The reaction was tepid, at least among other partisans. Jerome at MyDD had this to say.
I don’t know if you came across this post by worldtrippers on dkos, but it makes a compelling case for Obama’s organizational skills in Iowa, based on previous events. But having been there for some of those events, there’s no doubt a lot of non-Iowans pumping up those numbers.Whenever I talked with Edwards or Clinton people at those events about Obama’s numbers, they would sooner or later point out how similar it seemed to Dean’s campaign.
And from KyProgressive
Hilarious. About 10 days or so ago, I got an e-mail from the Obama campaign saying they were choosing precinct captains in Iowa. About 10 days before that, the Edwards campaign said they had multiple precinct captains in 87% of the precincts in the state. Maybe Obama will perform in Iowa — maybe (“tested”??? “proven”????) — but based on everything I’m hearing, he’s odds on to be the Howard Dean of 2008 in his Iowa performance.
Obama had precinct captains in pretty much 100% of Iowa’s precincts. In the precinct I was working in, we had a team of six people, each with designated positions, no other candidate was even close. Edwards had a few, and Clinton’s seemed quiet and perplexed by the huge turnout. Biden was, in my opinion, the next best organized, but they were just below viability.
We had a list of about 250 supporters or leaners in that precinct. 244 people caucused for Barack. In other precinct, they had a list of 204 supporters or leaners. Over 230 caucused for Barack there.
Every single supporter or leaner was contacted by the field staff multiple times during the last week, they were reminded about the caucus location, when to arrive, who to contact for more information, and about the urgency of the election. By all accounts, we turned out almost every single one of our supporters on caucus night, an unprecedented record for a superb field operation.
And it’s not only in Iowa. Barack’s own time as a field organizer has lead him to understand the importance of a strong field operation, and right now the campaign has field operations in 17 of the 22 February 5th states. Clinton and Edwards? Clinton, 9. Edwards, from what I can tell, 0 (please correct me if I’m wrong). John Kerry only ran in seven battleground states in 2004.
New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina all have the same investment in ground game that Iowa did, and all three will have a great GOTV and GOTC organization. Barack Obama is building the 50 state strategy that Howard Dean started, one state at a time. With the turnout up almost 100% Thursday night, just imagine how it might be in November.