Barack Obama and Joe Biden supporters in Manhattan seeking signs, bumper stickers, T-shirts or any other campaign merchandise recently would have had to go out of town or order it online because the Riley County Democratic Party has not been able to keep up with demand for Obama/Biden merchandise.
The problem is not us, said Justin Hagel, Riley County Democratic Party field organizer. We submitted orders, but the Obama campaign is having a hard time keeping up. I think its demand. They have shifted their focus to door-to-door registration, the phone bank that kind of thing. So, they dont have the personnel to handle the demand.
Without offering a steady inventory, supporters depended on leftovers from bulk orders. These were dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis and were sold out in three days.
However, the Riley County Democratic Party and Kansas State University Young Democrats have now received their last shipments of merchandise and think they have enough to last until the election, said Bryan Cox, Young Democrats co-president and RCDP field organizer.
He said the Obama/Biden merchandise is being sold and proceeds go to the campaign. Signs and support material for state and local Democratic candidates is free.
The KSU Young Democrats organization has shirts, buttons, rally signs and bumper stickers available at a table in the K-State Student Union, Cox said. The RCDP has yard signs, buttons and bumper stickers available at its headquarters, located at 407 Poyntz Ave.
Hagel said though signs and stickers are great to have, they can distract voters from what matters the most.
What you should be doing is coming in here and volunteering, by going door to door, making phone calls, making contact with voters who are undecided and non-supporters of Obama. Thats what our push is now, Hagel said.
Cox, senior in economics and political science, said he is doing just that by registering students to vote in Aggieville and at their homes while canvassing neighborhoods. He said the desire for more presidential campaign merchandise is readily apparent on these trips.
Demand for Obama gear is through the roof, Cox said.
Manhattan Democrats are not the only ones to see Obama gear sell out quickly.
Hagel said Obama supporters traveling from Colorado to Washington, D.C., made their third cross-country stop at RCDP headquarters recently in search of a yard sign.