One year out from the 2012 election, President Barack Obama’s re-elect team is making a major push for volunteers — including a whopping 2,000 recruiting events this weekend alone.
It’s all part of an effort to rebuild the massive net of supporters that helped propel Obama in 2008. The president’s approval ratings have dropped precipitously and show no signs of rebounding amid a struggling economy.
This weekend’s events will include neighborhood gatherings, one-on-one meetings in coffeehouses, phone banks, voter registration drives, door-to-door voter canvassing and house parties throughout the country. Supporters anywhere in the country can find the gatherings closest to them simply by entering their zip code on Obama’s website.
In the Virginia and Maryland suburbs just outside Washington, D.C., several of the events listed are get-out-the-vote efforts for local candidates, all designed to bring Obama supporters together.
The goal is to mobilize the same flood of activists who were at the center of Obama’s coalition in 2008 — black and Latino voters, women and college students and voters entering the workforce — having them in place long before ballots are cast a year from now.
“Block by block, person by person, student by student, we are going to build the biggest grass-roots effort in American political history,” campaign manager Jim Messina vowed at an event Wednesday at the University of Pennsylvania to kick off a mobilizing effort on college campuses.