Obama’s Online Organizing Tools and Amazing Offline Results

An interesting factoid was thrown into play today by Micah Sifry at TechPresident. He did a comparison of how the supporters of the three major Democratic presidential candidates are using online tools at the campaign websites to organize offline activities like throwing house parties, fundraisers and phone banking.

The short answer is that Obama is overwhelming Clinton and Edwards. The numbers are really striking. Take the state of California where the statewide polls still have Hillary up by a surprisingly large margin. Yet you look at grassroots supporter-generated events in some of the key cities:

  • Los Angeles: Obama 170, to Clinton 8, and Edwards 0.
  • San Francisco: Obama 189, to Clinton 9, and Edwards 29.
  • San Diego: Obama 55, to Clinton 6, and Edwards 30.

Even if you go to Hillary’s home state of New York, Obama numbers tower over hers:

  • New York City: Obama 292, Clinton 13, Edwards 0.

Obama has clearly encouraged a bottom-up campaign that empowers his supporters to make things happen in his name. They clearly are responding in ways that have almost no parallel in campaigns on the other side – let alone on the Republican side, where there is almost nothing of this sort beyond the Ron Paul phenom.

We’ll see how this plays out by the primary day on Feb. 5th. My guess is that this is a ticking time bomb that is unnoticed now, but that will have large repercussions as the day to vote approaches. It’s not clear whether it will be enough to close the current gap, but I’d much rather have hundreds of hubs of campaign activity in a city than a handful, let alone none.

Peter Leyden
Director of the New Politics Institute