Sunday was, by far, the most important day yet of 2016. The Patriots were playing for the conference title and a trip to the super bowl. The campaign was in a scramble to get all of our work done before the 3:05 kickoff. I went out with a group to canvas some Nashua neighborhoods early that morning. Houses were decked out with Patriots flags and almost everyone who answered the door was wearing a jersey. Conversations opened up with a chat about the quickly approaching Patriots game. This particular community loved to talk politics as much as it loved to talk football. Even people supporting other candidates were willing to chat with me. As one man told me, “Even if we can’t agree on a candidate, we can all agree on the Patriots.”
Back at the office everything had shut down by 2:45 to allow everyone to settle in for the game. We got some pizza and everyone pulled up chairs around the office TV. We switched off the 24-hour new station and watched the game together as an office. No one was allowed to do any phone banking during the game. As I was told, “It’s a cardinal sin to call someone during the Patriots game.”
After the disappointing finish for New England, we were a little wary to start up our phone bank again, knowing that the positive attitude from earlier that morning effectively disappeared with the missed two-point conversion. Overall, people were upset about the game, but after some consoling they were willing to take my surveys.
It was exciting to get to talk to people in New Hampshire about something other than politics for a while. Working on the campaigns and doing classwork has put me into an echo chamber of academic readings, stump speeches, and phone bank scripts. It was a refreshing change to talk to residents as people instead of just potential voters. It was good to be reminded that there is more to New Hampshire than the elections.