Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Odds & Ends on GOTV
Given that messages worth blogging are rout by this point and this is really just a habit built on the concept of “fun”, I went surfing and inadvertently came across a couple of interesting posts on voter turnout efforts for 2006. All I can say, despite MSM punditry about a Democratic wave, it’s going to be one long night.
Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics posted a detailed response to this question from a reader in
I am hoping that at some point you might comment at the site on the election and polling impact of the micro-targeting and 72-Hour turnout techniques that we have heard so much about the Republican Party using. These techniques have evidently been responsible for anomalous and a historic levels of GOP turnout when specifically and thoroughly applied in the last few election cycles. Are they powerful enough to drive surprise elections results on November 7? If so, to what degree?
The one paragraph you wade through the longish post to find:
My intuition is that mobilization will make a difference, though not as much as it did in 2004 and 2002. Observing political actors gives us some prima facie evidence on this front. I tend to heavily discount the "conventional wisdom" of journalists/pundits because the nature of their jobs is to just offer endless pontification -- day in, day out. There is no consequence if a pundit is wrong. No real reward if a pundit is right. So, they can go down any randomly incorrect causal path and it will not make one whit of a difference in the world. Their job is just to "blah blah blah" all day, right or wrong. Political operatives are very different. Unlike the pundit class, where there really are no stakes whatsoever, the stakes are high among politicians and their strategists. And I have noticed that all political operatives seem to be in awe of the GOP's current program. The GOP views it as their secret weapon. The Democrats view it as that which could doom them. …
In another corner of internet media, The Hill posted this article on the Democrats yearlong series of oops in rounding up their drop-off voters:
The clash between Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) over how much money the national party would spend to help congressional Democrats ended last month. But the heart of the disagreement, whether the national party has identified new and drop-off voters, could determine whether the Democrats retake the House and Senate in November.
Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Dean agreed last month that the Democratic National Committee would spend $2.6 million on GOTV efforts; Dean reportedly reached a deal Monday with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, to direct $5 million to state parties to help Democratic Senate candidates.
In the months preceding these agreements, the DSCC and DCCC set up their own field programs, which is something the DNC would have done in the past, said several Democratic strategists. …
… Realizing that voter turnout could determine whether the Democrats control the House or spend another two years in the minority, Emanuel hired Michael Whouley and Jack Corrigan, longtime Democratic field operatives, to implement the DCCC’s strategy. The committee has worked with 70 campaigns devising a field strategy; it is helping pay for field programs in several campaigns, said a senior Democratic aide. …
… Still smarting from their losses in 2002 and 2004, Democrats have worked to match the Republican Party’s successful get-out-the-vote operations. Republicans used technology to identify new Republican voters based on lifestyle choices, a practice known as microtargeting. …
If the races stay tight, it might very well come down to rounding up and pushing to the polls the less motivated voters attempting to hideout under rocks -- though, preferably not under rocks that are under six feet of dirt.