I listened to Rachel Leavitt, an 18-year-old UNLV student, read from a script to a prospective caucusgoer. It did not go well. “I like to think people aren’t lying to me,” she said. “But it seems a little strange that all the people who can’t go are going on vacation tomorrow.”
Yet most volunteers were doing better than 50%. “It’s shocked the heck out of me,” said Kevin Hagerty, a chiropractor. “People are really cranked up.” Hagerty supported the campaign so much in 2008 that he even went to the Inaugural Ball. This was a man who would clearly do anything for Obama. Until I asked if he was going to be a delegate to the national convention in Charlotte, N.C. “No,” he said. “I’ve lived around Charlotte before. There’s no reason to go to Charlotte.”
But unlike going to Charlotte, Hagerty explained, spending his Friday afternoon begging people to caucus for an unopposed candidate had a purpose: it was a fire drill for November. These calls were helping the volunteers update their phone lists, enlist more volunteers, get contributions and register Democrats. It seemed cruel to trick people into spending their Saturday voting just to test the Obama campaign’s organizational skills.