This is a follow up to my earlier report on my day at Scott Brown’s campaign headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts, in the western suburbs of Boston.
My expectations were fairly low. I figured I’d stay an hour or so, talk to some people, get a better “on the ground” sense of things, send out some tweets and do a post.
I arrived at around 11 a.m. The best description of the experience was that it was like one of those movies or commercials where everything is quiet until the actor opens a door, and then there is a blast of noise and light.
From the moment I arrived until I left about 5 hours later, the atmosphere was electric. I had not expected the frenzy of phones ringing, people walking in the door to write checks, dozens of people making calls to voters, and generally ebullient mood.
Those of you who follow this blog know that I am a big supporter of Scott Brown. So I claim no neutrality. And you can believe me or not when I tell you that there is an air of excitement and movement which is beyond belief.
They are out of lawn signs and bumper stickers. Completely. Nothing left, but people kept calling all day wanting to find out where they could get them. I was told it has been this way for days.
I made calls. I won’t get into the details of their phone operation, but let me say I was impressed with the computerized sophistication. I can say that the number one concern expressed by voters I spoke with and from what I heard from other callers, was jobs and the economy. The small sample I saw bears striking resemblance to what happened in Virginia and New Jersey; it’s still the economy, stupid.
There also was a lot of animosity surrounding the announcement that the Democrats would delay Brown’s certification if he won. People were calling in about that issue, and it was brought up on phone calls by the voters (the issue was not on the call script).
The attempt to delay certification has the potential to be a defining issue in the campaign because it crystallizes in voters’ minds everything that is wrong with politics.
There are plenty of anecdotes I could tell you, about people who usually vote Democratic who are voting Brown, but I’m not really sure I should be giving out that information. I also can tell you generally that the response from the phone calls (not just mine, but campaign-wide) has been overwhelmingly positive for Brown, and we called only independents. You can believe me or not, your choice.
Brown stopped by the office twice on his way to and from campaign appearances. Note to the Hillbuzz guys: He’s even better in person.
This is not a white wine and Brie campaign office. Note the photo below. People are surviving on donuts and pizza.
What I saw today was just a snapshot of the campaign. But that snapshot showed to me a truly grassroots campaign bursting at the seams with energy and enthusiasm and support.
If what I saw accurately reflects what is happening statewide, it is going to be very, very interesting on January 19.
Update: What I saw is echoed in what PPP found in the poll released tonight, huge excitement for Brown, not so much for Coakley. And Boston Globe poll released Sunday morning contains much spin, but shows tie among most motivated voters.