The Iowa Democratic Party announced today that Derek Eadon has begun working as the director for the 2010 "coordinated campaign," the Democrats' main voter turnout operation. From an IDP press release:
Derek will oversee the Coordinated Campaign, which will focus heavily on organizing the grassroots, from volunteer coordination to get-out the vote-programs.
"My job is to build on the organization already put into place by the Iowa Democratic Party so that Democrats win here in November. I am confident we can do that and I am eager to get the Coordinated Campaign underway," said Eadon.
Eadon is a 2006 Coordinated Campaign veteran, working as a field organizer in the Cedar Rapids area. He then became the first field organizer hired in Iowa for President Obama's campaign, and he worked for the Obama campaign throughout the 2008 election. Prior to this, Eadon was the Iowa State Director for Organizing for America.
I wish Eadon every success in his work, and I hope this year's coordinated campaign is as successful as the 2006 turnout operation. The Iowa Democratic Party did an excellent job that year of focusing on Democratic voters who were unreliable for off-year elections. Although the Obama campaign had an excellent field operation before the Iowa caucuses, I was critical of letting the Obama campaign take over the 2008 coordinated campaign, and I felt the down-ticket gains weren't as strong as they could have been. (I wasn't alone.) I do credit the Obama campaign for its focus on early voting in 2008; that saved several Democratic seats in the state legislature. A strong absentee ballot drive also helped Curt Hanson win last year's special election in Iowa House district 90.
Even the best turnout operation is no substitute for having this state's leaders deliver on issues of importance to the Democratic base. But that's a topic for another post.
Speaking of GOTV, John Morgan argued persuasively at the Pennsylvania Progressive blog that Organizing for America is a poor substitute for the 50-state strategy the Democratic National Committee carried out under Howard Dean's leadership.