Where should you VOLUNTEER to make the biggest impact?
by barath, Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 08:14:31 PM EDT
Volunteering is going to make or break this election. And like it or not, some states are more important than others for the next 60 days.
I've been asked many times "where should I volunteer to make the biggest difference?" To answer that question, I've made an easy-to-use Google map using data from 538.
Just click where you live on the map below and it'll tell you where you should volunteer to maximize your ability to help elect Obama. (It'll open a google map in a separate window because I can't embed maps here.) Below the fold I'll tell you why the map is the way it is.
Volunteering in your home state is great, but we need all hands on deck to target the smaller number of swing states that are going to decide this election. Traveling to another state to volunteer is fun - you can carpool with local Obama supporters and make a weekend of it, or even more. If you call an Obama office in the state you're traveling to, they'll help set you up with a place to stay.
I made the above map using the data shown at FiveThirtyEight.com in the following ways.
1. First, I concluded that the states that are going to matter in the election, or are at the cusp of tipping to Obama are (West to East) Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
2. Second, I left out Minnesota and Wisconsin. Both states are strongly leaning toward Obama, but they're still considered "swing states" by some, so if you live in either, it's probably best to volunteer at home and not travel to another state.
3. Third, when possible I tried to create larger travel regions for states that are more likely to swing the election. (For example, Colorado and Nevada need more volunteers than New Mexico or Oregon, so the travel regions for those states are bigger.)
4. Fourth, I tried to take advantage of geography and demographics. (For example, there's no point in having folks in North-East Arizona travel to New Mexico when there are plenty of folks in South-West Texas who can't go anywhere other than New Mexico.)
Finally, if you want to find out what's going on with the campaign in your state, just click below. (The list of offices in your state will be on the right hand side.)
Please feel free to link to the map from your own sites or blogs or emails.
I've made an easy tinyurl for it: http://tinyurl.com/volunteermap
(If you want to embed the map in a blog, just click on the tinyurl link above, and then click "Link" on the google map to get the embed code.)