Oct 31 2006

Is The GOP GOTV Machine Working?

Published by at 8:35 am under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

Seems so. Let’s combine some recent stories here to get some perspective. First, the news out today is that the GOP is seeing a good indicators from early and absentee voting. It seems they are on track to get a lot of voters out, exceeding the 2004 mark (a presidential election year) – which would spell trouble for the dems since all the turnout models have been tilted heavily Democrat and could make many polls wrong (as I pointed out previously):

Down in the polls and with their majorities in Congress at risk, Republicans say they have some good news in early-voting statistics that suggest their voter-turnout machine is providing an edge in some tight races.

In the fiercely contested New Mexico district held by Republican Heather Wilson, the party says that the number of absentee ballots already requested by Republicans has almost reached the number requested in 2004 — nearly 22,000 so far this year, compared with almost 24,000 in 2004. The party says it is on a pace to exceed 2004.

Meanwhile, in the bellwether Ohio district held by Republican Steve Chabot, about 60% of all early votes are coming from the roughly 40% of the electorate that the party has targeted for early voting. That’s the highest rate in the country, according to an internal party memo, and good news — “provided they vote the way we predict,” the memo adds.

In two Florida districts that are in doubt — the 13th and 16th, previously held by Reps. Katherine Harris and Mark Foley, respectively — Republicans are ahead in both absentee balloting and early voting. In previous election cycles, Democrats have enjoyed an advantage in early voting, party operatives say.

The democrat responses are interesting to say the least. They claim they have more ballots turned in for Iowa and their rate of return (the percentage of those requested returned) is higher. No mention of the districts where Reps are leading. I would say they better be right and not just pointing out marginal characteristics. If the Reps get 100 ballots out and 20 come back that is a rate of return rate of twenty percent. If the dems get 50 ballots out and 10 back, that is a return rate of twenty percent. Guess who wins the vote 2 to 1.

This effort is going to be huge in Delay’s district where a write-in campaign is mandatory for the Reps to hold the seat. Right now polls show the race to be a toss up. The absentee balloting will take the challenge out of the write in process at the polls themselves. This should increase the probability Reps hold this seat and dash Democrat plans on the House. Keep Foley’s and Delay’s seats, and take one in GA and the House could stay rep.

The key to all of this is the quality of the GOTV effort. The reps are focusing on voters that are a high probability for supporting their candidates and for voting. They get these people identified and make sure they cast a vote:

But Republican National Committee political director Mike DuHaime said that concern is likely exaggerated, because the party is focused on turning out a relatively reliable core of supporters. “We try to drive people who we feel with a high degree of confidence are going to vote Republican, and leave it to the candidates” to persuade independents and swing voters, he said.

The final story is the realization by the left that they may be kidding themselves.

But Democrats have learnt from bitter experience that breaching the Republican defences — even with an opinion poll yesterday showing them with a 14 per cent lead nationally — is harder than it looks.

At the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters, Karin Johanson, the executive director, has taken up smoking again, but with only eight days to go before polling day she says that there is scant time for indulging the habit.

Speaking to The Times as she pored over the latest numbers from swing seats, Ms Johanson said: “Some of the polls are looking great — really great — but some of the recent ones have been looking not so good.” The Democrats were “swimming upstream”, she said, against long-term disadvantages. They will be outspent by as much as $100 million (£52 million) in the coming week because their opponents have amassed vast war chests for TV advertising. Boundary changes (a more pejorative word might be “gerrymandering”) mean that there are far fewer marginal seats to target than there were when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives 12 years ago.

It seems some have taken off the rosey glasses and are starting to finally notice all the factors that they had been glibbley dismissing. It also seems that as reality sinks in, some have gone to the fantasy conspiracy world to protect their egos from the possibility they were wrong. This is why it is best to not run campaigns on hate and vengeance. BDS is not a national priority.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Is The GOP GOTV Machine Working?”

  1. retire05 says:

    The Dems fought hard to keep DeLay’s name on the ballot, knowing that a write-in candidate have little to no chance of winning because with DeLay’s name on the ballot, a vote for DeLay is not a vote for Gibbs. So while the Dems did exactly the opposite in another state (going to court to have their new candidate’s name put on the ballot when a Democrat resigned) they figured this was a sure thing and they would pick up a seat.
    The Democrats (Chuck Shumer) says this year’s election is a referendum on George Bush and his poor administration. If Gibbs wins, it is a referendum on the methods the Democrats use to jury-rig an election. The citizens in DeLay’s district are not stupid. They realized that the Dems intended to win by hook or by crook or by judicial fiat. What pleasure it will give me if the Dems lose in spite of their efforts to rig the election in DeLay’s district.

  2. owl says:

    I laughed when I heard the President tell them to take their paper with them, so they could remember the name to write-in.

    If Houston Pubs were smart……they would be running an ad showing W saying that and a pic of the paper/name.