The Bloomberg Campaign: More Than Just Glamour

Michael Bloomberg's campaign manager emailed supporters to say that by tonight, campaign volunteers will have knocked on 250,000 doors.

"The glamorous parts of any campaign tend to be the ads you see on TV or the press conferences featuring high profile endorsements. While we've had plenty of both, one of the keys to any successful campaign – and especially ours – is its field operation: taking your message to the voters, door to door," the campaign manager, Bradley Tusk writes in an email.

(The email included a link to this Daily News story about the Bloomberg campaign's volunteers.) 

That sort of personal contact is, as Bloomberg campaign pollster Doug Schoen noted in 2005, very important, even to a wellfunded campaign like Bloomberg's.

"If he's just a rich guy writing checks to a television station, there's no personal connection," Schoen said at the time.

The campaign has been pushing hard to advertise the idea that it has—in addition to lots of money and lots of consultants—genuine support of the close-to-the-ground variety. As I noted last week, for example, the long list of endorsements appended to the end of the campaign's email blasts includes quite a few that wouldn't traditionally be touted by anyone running for any office.

This oversharing is deliberate, though, and represents more than just an effort to pad a really, really long list of endorsers for effect, according to the campaign.

In an email last week, Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker explained the thought behind including these distincly non-celebrity endorsements in the running tally.

She wrote:

We can’t win this campaign without a grassroots effort – paid media alone will not do it – so we believe in building support one block, one neighbor, one conversation at a time. All summer long we will continue reaching out to people, gathering more endorsements, knocking on doors, serving in our communities, and building a grassroots network strong enough to win.


On the merits of local endorsements, if someone respected in their community provides personal validation to friends, neighbors, and colleagues, it has a dramatic impact and often times it’s a domino effect. These endorsements are momentum builders at the local level and they help us attract more volunteers – which then helps us knock on more doors, call more people and ultimately get more votes.

A few examples from last week:

(1)Bishop Cecil Riley (Tues) from last week: will help us with Caribbean GOTV, will record a radio ad, and could be featured in Caribbean based mail.

(2)Mo Razvi (Wed): will help us gather other endorsement from religious leaders, could be used in print or radio testimonial

(3)Jose Feliciano (Fri): appeared with MRB at the PR Day Parade, will likely be in a Spanish language ad.

The Bloomberg Campaign: More Than Just Glamour