Field wins close races.
It’s as simple as that. That one extra round of door
knockers you sent out or that extra hour of phone banking can make the difference
when a race is coming down to a couple hundred votes.
At its most basic, field strategy is simple: identify the
people who will vote for you and then make sure those people show up to vote on
Election Day. At its best though, Field is about empowering people to bring
your candidates message directly to their neighbors. It’s about inspiring
people to give some their time and energy for a cause they believe in.
If you want to work as a Field Organizer or Field Director
on a campaign, you need to be a people person. You need to be able to work with
volunteers and manage volunteers. It can be delicate balance between effectively
managing people and respecting the time they’re giving to your campaign.
Marlon Marshall is currently Deputy National Field Director
for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Here is what he had to say
about Field organizing:
"Organizing is about building and maintaining connections
between people and your campaign. Whether volunteers are making phone calls,
holding signs, or knocking on doors, they’re making those connections to voters
and the community. Going door-to-door works because it’s personal—one person
talking to another, neighbor to neighbor. Online organizing was key in 2008
because friends reached out to friends over email or on Facebook, helping build
that personal connection to the campaign. Those online and offline personal
connections are what make the difference on Election Day.”
Field work is an
excellent way to break into the Political Campaign world. It requires long
hours and lots of patience. You’ll be spending a lot of time organizing door
knocking shifts, phone banks, recruiting volunteers, and managing data – lots of
Positive IDs, ID rates, turf, and call lists are all a part of the Field worker’s
daily routine. Successful data management is the foundation of any good GOTV
program. You have to know who your voters are and where they are if you are
planning on turning them out to vote on Election Day.
Check out the 2011
Democratic GAIN Career Fair for opportunities to work in Field and Organizing