Rob and I were originally hoping to go to Madison this weekend with Jeff & Sara, but since my dad decided to come to town, we've pushed back our Wisconsin plan. With a partly free Saturday, we touched base with the Obama campaign and got orders to go canvass in Valparaiso, Indiana -- about an hour and fifteen minutes from Chicago.
Valpo is a pretty Republican area. Heck, Indiana as a whole is a pretty Republican area. I was in the distinct minority growing up in Indianapolis as a Dem, and that's the most Democratic part of the state.
Needless to say, Rob and I were pretty surprised and excited by the Obama support we found. Sure, there were a few McCain supporters who were less than enthusiastic about us showing up at their doorstep. We were also intrigued to find that the divided households were generally mom plus adults kid for Obama, dad for McCain. Although more of the dads were undecided than for McCain, which is also pretty encouraging. On the less surprising end, there were a heck of a lot more Obama supporters in apartments than in houses. Hmmm. The economy was definitely the big issue. Although one gentleman said he was leaning McCain because of abortion. Still, even he was just leaning towards McCain but hadn't decided yet.
We got back to Chicago late afternoon after hours and hours on our feet, but it was worth it. And not just because of the frozen custard place we found in Valpo. Oh, and our work even made the news. Kindof. :)
If you've got some free time and you're in or within driving distance of a swing state, you should head out and canvass for a weekend. We were in a Republican neighborhood where the Dems we found seemed truly grateful and encouraged that we were there. (We also had a nice long talk with a Vietnam veteran, lifelong Republican who is voting Obama.) Little things make a difference. And even where we found McCain supporters, I am optimistic that it will leave an impression that two seemingly nice and normal Obama supporters gave them a friendly hello.