Clinton Volunteers Optimistic in Final Push For Voters

The storefront Hillary Clinton campaign office on the Upper West Side. Photo credit: Patrick Ralph
Volunteers worked out of a storefront on the Upper West Side. (The Ink/Patrick Ralph)

New York volunteers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign remained hopeful Tuesday as the campaign made its final push for supporters before the polls closed.

“I’m feeling a lot more optimistic than I was yesterday,” said Corrine Constantine, a campaign volunteer who has supported Clinton since the primaries. “Polls seem to be going in the right direction and turnout appears to be high, so I’m really happy.”

Working in a storefront office on the corner of 103rd and Broadway on the Upper West Side starting at 7 a.m., volunteers began selling campaign accessories and urging local residents to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. At 10 a.m., the office opened up a phone bank to allow volunteers to call potential Clinton supporters and urge them to vote for her.

Hillary Clinton campaign buttons for sale at the Upper West Side campaign office. Photo credit: Pat Ralph
Clinton campaign buttons were on sale at the campaign office. (The Ink/Patrick Ralph)

“I’m feeling very positive and very hopeful,” said Chuck Wall, a campaign volunteer. Wall said that phone back volunteers were calling potential Clinton supporters in battleground states such as North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania where the vote is expected to be very close.

Along with the phone bank, which was scheduled to be in operation until 8 p.m., volunteers were also helping voters find out where their polling places were located and serving as a resource for voters who were having problems at the polls.

“Voters can come right up to our table and we let them know where they need to go,” said Roger Schneir, a campaign volunteer who admitted he was still nervous about the election results. Schneir said the campaign has deployed volunteers at and near polling centers to report any issues that may arise at the polls.

The local Clinton campaign office is the only storefront campaign office in New York City outside of the campaign’s main headquarters in Brooklyn. Opened in September, the office is run by two political groups: the Broadway Democrats and the Three Parks Democrats.

In addition to getting the vote out for Clinton in the presidential race, volunteers urged voters to vote for Democratic candidates at the federal, state and local levels.

“Down-ballot focus is a huge part of what we’re doing here, especially in New York,” said Susan Meyer, a campaign volunteer who described herself as feeling “jazzed” on Tuesday. “We need Democrats to vote for the entire ticket, not just for who is at the top. Republicans are taught to and do a great job at voting down the ballot, so that’s what we need to do too.”

While all of the campaign office’s volunteers are strongly behind Clinton in the election, some volunteers like Steve Max were not originally Clinton supporters.

“I supported Bernie Sanders in the primary,” said Max, who said he was worried about voter suppression at the polls on Election Day. “But if you’re giving me the choice between fascism and oligarchy, I’ll take oligarchy.”

Although there was no confidence at the local campaign office, some volunteers like Lois Safian still remained nervous about the election.

“In the office, you feel very good and confident,” said Safian, a Clinton supporter from the primaries. “But I still have a lot of anxiety. That anxiety comes from voters turning out for Trump.”

Campaign volunteers make phone calls to voters. Photo credit: Patrick Ralph
Campaign volunteers make phone calls to voters. (The Ink/Patrick Ralph)

The volunteers said they would watch the results together at the office.

“Win or lose tonight, I’m going to cry,” said Constantine, who admitted to being emotional about the possibility of the first woman president.