Every political party, every candidate and campaign struggles with finding a way to engage their volunteers in an off-election year, Wasserman Schultz said. It might have irritated some people while those growing pains were occurring, but its really a fantastic model that allows us to advance the presidents agenda.
And with midterm election season now in full swing, OFA will return to its more natural fit of getting involved in a campaign and doing what they have proven theyre really good at, she said.
Wasserman Schultz said that while nobody believes the momentum that led up to Obamas historic election win can be re-created, it will be a huge help to Democrats if OFA can turn out even a small percentage of 2008s first-time voters given how many there were: 15 million.
House and Senate Democrats are facing stiff political headwinds across the board this cycle and are hoping to at least minimize the losses to try keep control of Congress.
It can be the difference between winning and losing, she said.
DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer agreed: We look forward to OFAs support this cycle as there are numerous House races where they will be able to make a difference.
Some Members have wasted no time getting involved with OFAs new campaign. Rep. Tom Perriello (Va.), who is among those targeted by OFA for wavering on his health care vote, is already working with the group to channel support from 2008s first-time voters, according to one aide. And Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.) attended an OFA gathering Saturday and gave a speech thanking volunteers for supporting him in his Senate campaign.
Weve definitely had both current Members of Congress and candidates out and about at events since OFA kicked off its campaign over the weekend, Tran said.
The OFA spokeswoman said that while it is a little bit of apples to oranges to compare any efforts in 2010 to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, the fact that the group already has 16,000 volunteers in place five months ahead of the November election is really unheard of.
This is a very well-trained, professional group of volunteers who know what theyre doing. They know their work will have a deep impact on what happens, she said.