NEWTON, Iowa—These are not easy times for a Democratic canvasser, and Cindy Pollard knows it. For months, she has been working the neighborhoods of this hollowed-out former manufacturing town east of Des Moines, driving up and down its streets in her black Toyota 4Runner. The vanity plate says "CINDY." One sticker says, "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one." Another says, "I (Heart) My Wife."
At one house Pollard visits on an evening last week, a man shakes his head and says, "Just go along." At another, a woman says, "Technically, yes, I'm a Democrat, but I don't feel like we've got a good selection this year." In a sketchy apartment complex after dark, the man who answers the door yells inside, "Momma, some people here want to talk to you about voting," only to turn back to us and shake his head: "Naw, she don't want to talk to you." These are the people the Democrats have identified as the midterm voters they need.