I was having lunch with a long-time attorney friend this past week to talk about what was going on in our lives and the craziness of the campaign. He lives in Baltimore County and told me he had received a phone call from one of the Gubernatorial candidates the previous week. He was amazed.
"I'm a nobody! We talked for about 15 minutes, really great call, but then I told them to stop wasting their time with me and to call someone more important."
Now, my friend is not really a nobody (to the extent that term would be appropriate for anyone). He's a partner in a large Baltimore law firm, former state's attorney, and all around good guy. But none of that mattered to the candidate on the other side of the phone.
"Let me guess - you voted in all of the last three primary elections?" I asked.
"Yes! How'd you know?"
I was now not only having lunch with a long-time friend, but also a Super-Dem, the prized segment of the electorate that will play an important part in deciding who wins this June. The same is true for my friends in the Republican party - your Super-Repubs will be crucial to primary success. By my guesstimate, there are five to seven thousand Super-voters for each party in every legislative district in Howard County with about half that in the sub-districts.
While my campaign's strategy is much broader than Super-voters, I would project that I've met over 1,000 of you in 9B. And yes, I think I can fairly presume that you are a Super-voter. While Super-Dems in District 12 are noticeably exhausted from having to get up to answer their door, District 9 voters have years of pent up policy ideas to discuss. On more than one occasion, I've had a voter tell me that they have lived in their house for 10, 20, or even 30 years, and that I was the first candidate to ever knock on their door or call their house. That's not because earlier candidates had not door-knocked, but rather due to the fact that Super-voters are rarely the target of General Election outreach (other than "Get-out-the-vote").
So why am I telling you all of this? Because I know how easy it is to feel small, particularly in relation to the "clash of titans" we see across our television screens, newspapers, and banner ads. And I'm talking about more than "my vote doesn't matter" cynicism. I'm talking about those who may be inclined to view themselves as a "nobody".
The honest truth is that in just about every primary race across this State, there will be one individual other than the candidate who made that individual win. In some campaigns, there may be three to four. Campaigns and elections are made up of hundreds of moving parts with thousands of interactions along the way that move you towards a successful outcome, but all of the energy and motivation in the world cannot replicate the effect of having someone stand next to you when the going gets tough.
Consider that. Consider your power in all of this, even if you choose not to realize it.
Have a great Friday doing what you love! It's impossible not to.
Note: We have one of my most fun campaign events so far coming up next week - Pizza and Champ(agne) with Tom Coale at The Obladi, April 8, 7:30 pm. Bring an item to be included in a basket for auction or $50 in lieu of auction item.