Organizing For America About To Win Low Expectations Game

Organizing for America, the spinoff of the Obama campaign, set a goal of 100,000 phone calls to members of Congress on health care today.

When we broke the news last week that President Obama would join the call-in parties via Webcast tonight, a Hill Republican said the number of calls seemed low given the size of the OFA email list.

Well the Democratic National Committee has offered a peek at their (self-reported) figures, and have been tweeting updates from the Obama Twitter feed all day. At 12:08, they tweeted it had reached 35,000 calls. At 12:53, it was up to 50,000.

As of this writing, it’s passed 90,000 calls. It went up by a few thousand calls in the last few minutes, so they will be hitting 100,000 fairly soon. My bet is they will trumpet that as a grassroots win and then raise the goal.

After the jump, a look at the widget tracking the calls.

The Obama campaign used the lowered expectations tactic several times in 2008 – from number of doors volunteers knocked on to fundraising pushes on deadline.

I saw a screening last night of the new HBO documentary “By the People” about the Obama campaign (more on that in a post later) and there was a scene where a volunteer said the group had made 450,000 calls in a week.

Work for a member of Congress? Is your phone ringing? Please share your stories with us.

Late update: OFA did surpass the goal shortly after this post went up, and raised it to 150,000. As of this 2:48 p.m. update, they were already past 117,000.

The party says in a release:

Organizing for America and allied groups have declared today a national day of action in support of health insurance reform with the goal of generating 100,000 calls to Congress in a single day. The response from Americans in all 50 states has been overwhelming and as a result, Organizing for America has surpassed its goal of 100,00 calls and has established a new, ambitious goal for calls of 150,000 in a single day.
This effort comes on the heels of polls which show strong support for reform and President Obama’s handling of the issue.
Today’s calls are being made in support of reform by individuals and groups from living rooms, cafes, college campus and community centers in all 50 states. President Obama will address thousands of supporters who are making calls tonight via live webcast from an event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City where 2500 people will be making similar calls in support of reform. You can track the progress of these calls at:

A Democratic source pushed back on this post, thinking we’re not giving credit to the the strength of the movement. Sure, but it’s also a PR move and motivator to keep people involved and feel like they are making a difference.

Also, it’s worth noting that campaigns of all sizes and political stripes use similar techniques to help generate enthusiasm.

The latest Obama tweet: “Amazing – you made 100k calls to Congress in a single day. Can we get to 150k?”

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