Blegging for bus fare: Obama canvassers in Iowa

You can buy face-to-face voter contacts in Iowa at 64 cents each. Cheap!

Two buses paid for in substantial part by RBC readers delivered 110 Illinois volunteers to Iowa yesterday. They canvassed in pairs. My sister Kelly, who organized the venture, estimates that each pair hit about 60 households in a 4-hour shift. The total cost of the two buses for the day was $4200. (Another 151 volunteers went by car; the buses were for the carless who couldn’t find rides with others.)

What were they doing? Kelly writes:

On their appointed rounds, our volunteers are able to ask supporters to vote early (the incentive? “We’ll stop calling you as soon as you vote.”), and to provide them with the paperwork to do so. It’s easier to run up the score if you start accumulating points even before the game officially begins.

Here’s the arithmetic:

55 pairs x 60 households/pair =

3300 households x 2 voters/household =

6600 voters/$4200 =

64¢ per voter contact.

Seems pretty cost-effective to me.

The next canvass date is Saturday the 27th. That means Kelly needs checks in hand by a week from tomorrow, the 22nd.

Contact information:

Kelly Kleiman

Office Manager

46th Ward campaign office

4084 N. Broadway

Chicago, IL. 60613

(773) 281-2673

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: