If this is a battleground state, Obama supporters in Nevada seem more than up to task. After two days in Las Vegas, I am impressed by the groundwork done by the thousands of volunteers that are working to get out the vote for Barack Obama. And some of them are still pouring in. Last night, I joined the young volunteers of PowerPAC’s Drive for Change campaign, a group of 20 California voters and volunteers that made the journey up I-15 to help out neighboring Nevada by making phone calls and knocking doors in Henderson, a city located right outside Las Vegas.
Barack Obama visited Henderson on Saturday morning. He spoke in front of an estimated 15,000 in the football field of Henderson’s Coronado High School. A diverse and joyful crowd, some of whom had camped out through the night to secure a spot in front of the line, mixed local voters and out-of-state volunteers to welcome Obama.
The doors open around 6:45AM, much earlier than announced and with the line already circling around the block. As the crowd filled the football-field-turned-campaign-stage, Las Vegas congressional candidate Dina Titus mingled with the crowd, encouraging them to vote blue down the ticket in her quest to represent a district currently held by a Republican.
California State Senator Gil Cedillo also walked around the field, greeting the many California volunteers who had made it to Henderson. Both Titus and Cedillo urged those present to join them in walking the precincts that afternoon.
At around 10AM, the rally began with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rallying his constituents to support Senator Obama. A fellow PowerPAC volunteer snapped this picture just as Barack walked onstage.
The crowd roared in response to his message of commitment to change, and once the rally was over, everyone was ready to visit voters in all the precincts surrounding Las Vegas. We left Henderson and headed to North Las Vegas, where we had been assigned to a lower middle-class neighborhood where many houses have been foreclosed and voters are disgruntled. The need for a change in the direction of our country was evident in this particular block, but we were also able to notice how Nevadans who were skeptical about supporting Obama over issues like taxes and gun control. We battled the myths and spoke truthfully about Barack Obama’s stances. In addition, we were greeted with enthusiasm by many of the early voters who had already cast their vote in support of the Democratic candidate.
Today, the volunteers of the Drive for Change Campaign are visiting Henderson with the same message of hope and progress. The excitement level remains high and we are 32 hours away from the end. Let’s go change the world!