BACKGROUND AND TASK
Then-Senator Barack Obama needed to maximize limited resources to win the Democratic Presidential primary against a better funded and more well known Hillary Clinton. Partner Chris Miller was one of the first people hired on the campaign as the Midwest Field Director.
STRATEGY AND EXECUTION
He proposed that the campaign make an early investment in on-the-ground organizing in the 16 February 5 primary states then, while other campaigns were still focused on Iowa and the January primaries. He presented what came to be known as the “February 5 Plan” to Campaign Manager David Plouffe in March of 2007. He and the national field team built the foundation for this by executing organizing meetings and grass roots actions in those states throughout the spring. Chris managed the campaign’s “Walk for Change” on June 9, 2007: a national day of canvass in which the campaign launched 100-person volunteer canvasses in 64 cities around the country, plus scores of canvasses built and run solely by volunteers guided by the Obama field team.
At the GOTV phase, a paid canvass program was layered in to compliment the coordinated volunteer program our organizers had worked to build with local candidates from the top to the bottom of the ballot. Together these two program components were able to achieve 3-4 passes at targeted households over the final four days.
By September 2007 there were field staff on the ground in all February 5 states. The campaign went on to win wide victories in two-thirds of the 16 February 5 states. The result: a lead in the presidential primaries that proved to be insurmountable, and a national victory built on grassroots organizing.