Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | October 31, 2002

Democrats are masters of GOTV

No surprise. We've been talking about it here for weeks. But, the national media is catching up:

In recent elections, Democrats have outhustled Republicans in the stretch run. By the Republicans' reckoning, the final opinion polls in Michigan before the 2000 election showed George W. Bush up by one percentage point; he lost to Al Gore by four points. In Delaware, Mr. Bush was up by 4 points in the weekend polls and lost by 13. In Washington State, he went from one point ahead to five points behind.

Democrats had last-minute gains in many other states, not just in the presidential race but also in other contests, and not just in 2000 but also in the Congressional races in 1998.

"In both 1998 and 2000, the Democrats did a better job of motivating and turning out their voters," the Republican National Committee said last year after a study of what went wrong. "We underperformed in the final stages of the last two elections."

Republicans "have relied on fund-raising," said Stuart Roy, an adviser to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican whip. "So we buy our phone banks, direct mail and ads and sit back the week or two before the election and wait for the votes to come in."

Meanwhile, Democrats and their labor union allies, Mr. Roy said, "walk the precincts, and we've lost elections because of that."

In other words, even the GOP acknowledges that Dem GOTV efforts give Democrats a huge boost on election day and help them overperform in relation to pre-election polls.

After the election I will analyze poll performance compared to actual results, but as of now, I would be willing to give Democrats a 3-5 point boost over the polls thanks to their GOTV. This boost is completely unscientific, and based on nothing more than gut feeling, but there's no way the GOP matches Democratic Party efforts, regardless of what b.s. they may be claiming.

To wit:

Ms. Hazelwood said Republicans tested a three-step plan in the governors' elections in New Jersey and Virginia last year. Though the Republican candidates lost, the plan was considered so successful the party is using it in about 30 states this year.
The GOP tested this plan on two GOP held statehouses, and lost both of them less than two months after 9-11. New Jersey is an understandable loss, but Virginia? So if they want to trot out their losing plan nationwide, I won't sweat it. I'll take union ground support over the GOP plan any day of the week.

Posted October 31, 2002 11:46 AM | Comments (22)


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