I just moved into a pretty red neighborhood in a pretty red district (NJ-05) in a very blue state. I heard somewhere that the village was nearly 2 to 1 in favor of republicans. And a few weeks ago, ours was the only lawn in the neighborhood with an "Aronsohn for Congress" sign. So when I volunteered to helpout with Paul Aronsohn's uphill battle campaign, I didn't expect too much.
But today, I just got back from walking my entire neighborhood distributing flyers and other literature about Aronsohn's campaign (close to 100 houses) and damn, am I excited. Because if there is the response that I got to my day today in my fairly red neighborhood, then that bodes real well for not only Paul's campaign, but also for Menendez' bid for reelection.
Being new to the area, I didn't know how the political leanings were in our particular neighborhood, but since there are a tremendous number of houses with American flags displayed prominently, I kinda had a suspicion. But over the past few weeks, there have been many Aronsohn lawn signs popping up around my neighborhood, and the town in general, while there are considerably fewer signs for the incumbent, Scott Garrett. But that's not all.
This week alone, I have planted close to two dozen lawn signs around our town and the surrounding towns, and have seen LOTS of signs around. Plus, the signs are staying up. And today (which was my very first time going door to door), I met more than a few of my neighbors, and heard some very encouraging things which make me think that we could all be very happy campers on November 7.
One of my neighbors asked me to leave an extra lawn sign for him to plant at his house. Another said that he was hearing some real good things about Aronsohn lately, which surprised me, despite the bi-partisan support and recent endorsements by the NJ Star Ledger, today's NY Times and one of Warren County's more conservative papers. So why was I surprised? Well, because down at Paul's campaign headquarters, there are a number of volunteers who tell their stories about the campaign's lack of support from the Democratic party, the large lead in money that Garrett has, and the fact that Garrett has ducked each request to appear together, let alone debate.
There was one who used to vote republican but "for the past six years there is no way that I could think about voting republican". As soon as he heard that I was stumping for a Democrat, he said that was all he needed to hear. Another took the time to talk about the election and the direction this country was headed, even admitting that "with the way that things move nowadays, it is tough to get any information about what is going on".
I don't know what kind of chance Aronsohn has against Garrett. But I do know that if I can get people who may not vote, may not know who Paul is, or are not real committed about voting (or voting Democrat vs. republican) to vote, then there is a pretty good chance that they will also vote for Menendez. Which of course is a crucial race heading into the final week.
So while I am completely wiped out from walking our hilly streets and what seemed like a thousand steps, I know that there are possibly close to 100 more houses that know what their choices are on November 7. And in such an important election - with such an important Senate race, every house, every person, every voter matters.
And now I have to go back on Tuesday night to get some more lawn signs and pamphlets, since I am pretty much all out.
But, man - what a great feeling it was.