In stepped a young organizer named Barack Obama. Fresh out of Harvard Law School, Obama moved to Chicago to head up the local branch of Project Vote, a D.C.-based non-partisan voter registration organization focused in low-income communities of color. Recruiting staff and volunteers from community groups and black churches, he helped train 700 deputy registrars and devised a comprehensive media campaign based around the slogan "It's a Power Thing." His volunteers hit the streets and registered more than 150,000 black voters in only six months. According to a 1993 report from Chicago magazine, the elections "turned on these totals."Launched in all 50 states on May 10, Vote for Change has been dispatching Obama staffers across the country to marshal volunteers through the campaign's massive online database and train them in the basics of voter registration. Working with local organizers and using similar "microtargeting" techniques honed by the GOP in the 2004 presidential campaign, Obama supporters will pepper precincts for the next six months in search of eligible but inactive political participants likely to value Obama's message of change."That's the big wild card for Republicans," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen recently told the Washington Post. "They can't plan on a conventional turnout scenario if Barack Obama is the nominee."
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