Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Field vs. Field

Caffeinated News & Gossip

By Morning Fizz August 8, 2013

The fact that Mayor Mike McGinn survived the primary (with better numbers than anyone had predicted, 27 percent as opposed to 22 percent) is evidence of McGinn's famous field campaigning.

Fizz asked the McGinn camp for specifics about the effort. How many doors knocked on? How many phone calls made?

"Tens of thousands," they said at first, without providing any more details. What time frame? The whole primary? The week before the primary? Tens of thousands of calls and doors knocked or just one or the other? Does their call number include robocalling or were they just counting volunteer calls?

They told the Seattle Times this morning they made "100,000 calls before the primary." Again, does that include robocalling? Was that in the last few days before the primary?

Fizz asked again this morning and McGinn campaign manager John Wyble was specific this time. The 100,000 calls referred to the whole primary. All volunteer calls.

And an impressive detail: 20,000 calls in one day last weekend with volunteers—Sonics fans, grocery workers, machinists, environmentalists— at three call centers.

An impressive detail from the McGinn campaign: 20,000 calls in one day last weekend with volunteers—Sonics fans, grocery workers, machinists, environmentalists— at three call centers.

Editorializing here, but whoa! McGinn, who's being backed by working class lefties from the hotel and restaurant workers union and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, along with the Sierra Club, has put together an impressive blue-green coalition.

But wait.

The reason Fizz asked for specifics on his field campaign is because at state Sen. Ed Murray's election night party on Tuesday, Fizz asked Murray's campaign manager, Maggie Thompson, the former field director for the pro-gay marriage campaign, the same question. She was very specific: She said the Murray campaign made 25,000 calls in the last 48 hours before the primary. They also said they knocked on 4,000 doors on the Saturday and Sunday before the primary.

When we told a consultant from another campaign (not McGinn's) about Murray's 25,000, all volunteer, 48-hour call blitz, they were amazed, and said they would have needed an army of volunteers to pull that off.

Murray's campaign, in fact, says they had hundreds of volunteers.

It looks like, this election, Team McGinn isn't the only campaign with energized young voters signing on. (Joe Mallahan's campaign troops certainly didn't migrate to a Pike/Pine gay bar after the official party at the hipster Crocodile, as Murray's campaign did this year, where an organizer with Sea-Tac's living wage campaign along with Seattle urban nightlife advocate and music entrepreneur—the Lumineers, Hey Marseilles— David Meinert, were toasting their guy's first place finish.)

McGinn's campaign has labeled Murray the "establishment" candidate—a deleterious label that implies Murray is relying on top-down rather than grassroots support. (Editorializing here, but let's be honest. Establishment? Murray got a 100 percent voting record from labor this session in Olympia, voting against things such as the Seattle-chamber-backed effort to water down Seattle's paid sick leave ordinance. Murray has a 95 percent lifetime labor voting record after nearly 20 years in the state legislature. If establishment means pro-business, Murray has a funny way of earning Chamber of Commerce support. Conversely, McGinn's donor list, just like Murray's donor list, includes big bucks from downtown developers such as the top brass at Vulcan. And McGinn gleefully signed off on Amazon development—including street vacations—in South Lake Union.)

The bottom line: This is no McGinn vs. Mallahan repeat. Judging from Tuesday's results and both camps' field numbers, we're looking at two impressive, progressive (yes, Vulcan is progressive) campaigns.

Love it.

Game on.

And, oh, on top of McGinn and Murray's pro-field efforts, both camps—big out-of-state union money for McGinn, big development money for Murray—will also be able to layer an air war (TV) on top of the ground game.


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