All of you have worked very hard, whether it's been through phone banking and canvassing, voter registration, visibility efforts, hosting house parties or faithfully attending MeetUps throughout Virginia. The fact that we are seeing a record number of new voter registrations in Virginia is a result of YOUR hard work. New polls, including Newsweek and Gallup, are showing that this race is a dead heat nationally--and that includes right here in Virginia, where YOUR efforts in the next 29 days can and will make the difference for John Kerry. Last week's Mason-Dixon poll--which tends to err on the conservative side favoring Republicans--showed that Bush had 49 percent to Kerry's 43 percent with 1 percent to Nader. The undecided voters were at 7 percent and the margin of error was +/- 4 points. This means that, without Nader (who is not on the ballot in Virginia), this race is just outside the margin of error and undecided voters break 2-1 for the challenger. Mason-Dixon's pollster said he was surprised at the closeness of the race in Virginia. Also, the fact that Bush is at 49 percent in the head-to-head and in his favorability spells problems for Bush-Cheney in traditionally Republican Virginia.
Our coordinated campaign offices remain open across Virginia. While several staff members have been redeployed, our current staff levels match the Republican staff levels in Virginia. We still have the largest coordinated campaign effort that Virginia has ever seen in a presidential election year, and we are lucky that John Winston, the coordinated's statewide field director, is taking over as the overall coordinated campaign director. John is a native Virginian who served as Tennessee's Democratic caucus director and as the Tennessee state director for John Edwards before he returned to Virginia with his wife and son, Currin, to Midlothian. In addition, Joe Easton, the coordinated's Northern Virginia field director, will keep those duties and additionally will become the statewide field director. It is extremelyimportant that we not let negative Republican spin on this redeployment impact our work; we all know they'll stop at nothing to win, including saying and doing anything to suppress our supporters.
I want you to know that the state party supports this redeployment: If our staff is needed elsewhere to ensure a victory nationally, we support that because a win for Kerry will be a win for every Virginian. We have more than 4,000 volunteers who have been trained for GOTV efforts and the staff is in place in Virginia that will continue to mobilize those volunteers to turn out the vote for Kerry in Virginia. YOU are part of those efforts--regardless of the sound and fury of this campaign, the emotional roller coaster ride of constant rounds of polls and the endless analysis and punditry, this election will be won based on turnout. YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE by continuing to help make sure we ID every likely Kerry voter and work hard to get those voters to the polls on Election Day.
We encourage you to work with your local committees and coordinated offices in your area to do phone banking, canvassing and other GOTV activities between now and Nov. 2. Several events are being planned, and we encourage you to check out our calendar at www.vademocrats.org/Calendar.asp often to find out the latest about what's going on across Virginia. If you haven't volunteered to do phone banking or canvassing, please contact me and we will help you find a way to get involved in the next 29 days.
The coordinated campaign has just purchased a large order of materials--please call them at 804.355.0404 if you have campaign material needs. We still continue to face challenges keeping up with the enormous demand for bumper stickers, yard signs and other matierals, but we are doing the best we can to accommodate everyone.
Thank you for your continued hard work here in Virginia on behalf of John Kerry and John Edwards. We have come SO FAR in this campaign here in Virginia thanks to your efforts---let's keep positive and keep the faith as we enter the home stretch in these next 29 days. Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have questions or concerns.