Letter: Obama campaign surpassed historical examples, in part thanks to Yalies

I was upset and disappointed by your article, “Months of canvassing, 430 votes to show for it?” (Nov. 6). Not only did it denigrate the substantial efforts of the Yale for Obama group, but the article relied on a single, uncorroborated academic study. Using a single uncontested source is sloppy reporting, and this campaign has strongly disproved Professor Alan Gerber’s work.

From experience, I can testify that door knocks and calls from the Obama campaign were qualitatively different than voter contacts in the Kerry or Gore campaigns; more impassioned contacts in this campaign made the difference in caucus primaries, and in the general election. Furthermore, the persistence and enthusiasm of the Yale for Obama group was unprecedented, and the campaign’s numbers show that their efforts were critical in attracting new, sporadic, and undecided voters here in Florida, which went for Obama by an extremely narrow margin.

Without the hard work of passionate advocates like the students in the Yale for Obama group, Barack Obama’s campaign could never have won the way it did. The News should acknowledge the thousands of votes that moved because of Yalies’ efforts. Our country would be worse off without their participation.

Eric Maltzer

The writer is a 2003 graduate of Silliman College. He is a former deputy policy director for the campaign of President-elect Barack Obama in Florida.

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