DAVENPORT, Iowa — During a break from Route 80 adventures earlier this evening, Ryan and I ate dinner at Cracker Barrel with Ally Fields ‘11, a resident of Rock Island, Ill., and a supporter of Barack Obama.
Fields has been keeping busy during the winter break: She crosses the Mississippi River almost daily to volunteer for Obama’s Davenport office.
Ally Fields ’11 has spent her winter break campaigning for Barack Obama.
We shared biscuits and cornbread, and discussed her experiences on the trail in this early primary state.
She seems to be having a lot of fun. Her job description might as well be straight from Campaigning 101: she canvasses, and she calls. She typically works 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but she is expecting a long day tomorrow, the day before the caucus.
We went on to discuss the role as a non-Iowan residents in the campaign process. Fields said that Davenport residents were very receptive to the outside help. For example, she said, “Obama supporters host random college students,” who are here to work for their candidate.
I went on to ask if she thought she and others out-of-state residents might be interfering in Iowa’s affairs. She said no.
“We’re not caucusing ourselves,” Fields said, emphasizing that she was in Iowa to communicate Obama’s message, not shove it down people’s throats. “Informing is not interfering.”
She’s ready for it, though, and she thinks Iowans are, too. State residents have been bombarded with advertising and visits by the candidates for months now, she said… some as early as March. After months of hearing their messages, their ready to make their choice.
“The politically active in Iowa take advantage of the candidate’s constant presence,” she said, “but for people who are politically unaware, it gets old.”
One voting bloc that is stereotyped as politically apathetic and uninterested is college students, but Fields is optimistic that youth will come out and participate in the caucus. Although students historically turn out in low numbers relative to other age groups, she insists this year will be different.
Only time—less than 48 hours—will tell.