How early voting is changing campaigning.

My wife received this in the mail yesterday. As you know, earlier in the campaign, Perdue sent out a mailer urging people to vote absentee. In Gwinnett it was a successful effort as absentee requests are running slightly ahead of the pace four years ago – many of the requests coming from the Perdue card. Starting tomorrow, we’ll see how intense early voting is, and if Perdue’s mailer has an impact.

The nature of get out the vote efforts is changing. In recent years the RNC developed what they call the “72 Hour Plan” to describe the final push to election day. The plan is developed in the wake of the 2000 Presidential election, when the GOP basically closed up shop at 5 pm Friday before the election, thinking the TV ads would solidify the lead their internal polling said Bush had. Gore kept on campaigning – as I recall even holding rallies around the clock – and we all remember how close that election was. The RNC vowed never to make that mistake again.

These days, with early voting becoming more popular, tactics must change. Perdue’s mailer is a good example of changing tactics, but I suspect more changes will take place. In fact, campaigns will likely need to kick into “72 Hour” mode on the Friday before the start of early voting. To a certain extent, Perdue is in that mode by beginning his “Bus Tour” a few days ago.

In the future, efforts will need to be made to identify those most likely to vote early and target them. Studies will commence to study voting patterns, but with only one General Election in Georgia featuring early voting, I’m not sure many conclusions can be drawn just yet. I’m sure many other tactics will evolve, but early voting is definitely changing how campaigns behave.


  1. RuralDem says:

    Can someone explain to me the true reasoning behind this vote early campaign Sonny is using? I have my own thoughts as to why he is doing it but I’d like to see what y’all think.

  2. uga_alum_93 says:

    RuralDem: It is so the producers of society (ie. the Republicans) don’t wait until election day and get stuck in traffic coming back from work and are unable to vote. You dems don’t have to worry about stuff like that being that your buses to the polls can go by the crack houses, housing projects, government offices, etc. anytime of the day.

  3. Erick says:

    RuralDem, there are a number of reasons. One of the best is the metrics that can be used. They can survey areas and voters and get a feel for turnout, who voted, who hasn’t voted, what demographics are going to vote, etc.

    They can make last minute adjustments on the theory that the last week is more important than the last month and the last three days is more important than the last week.

  4. Thanks for the blatant racism uga alum 93! You are all class all the way. Also so typically republican- I love it that you are evidently so used to living around your own kind that you dont even think twice before rolling 4 stereotypes into one sentence!

    I know you are one of society’s “producers” & it may be hard to leave your 45k a year job, but I hear that the GOP could use your skills in making some more commercials for Corker in TN!

  5. Donkey Kong says:


    How did ugaalum93’s post contain “blatant racism” when he never mentioned race at all? Typical liberal to pull the race card when race was never mentioned. I think you are being racist by assuming that ugaalum93 was referring to a race when he mentioned “crack houses, housing projects, government offices.”

    I think ugaalum93 was a bit off in his remark, but do us all a favor and stop using the race card.

  6. RuralDem says:

    I’ll have to agree with Donkey Kong.

    However, uga_alum_93 does showcase a great display of ignorance. I guess it cannot be too much of a surprise. When a blog like this starts growing like it has, there’s bound to be trolls that have nothing better to do.

    Anyway, thanks for the insight Erick. It makes sense now!

  7. kolt473 says:

    Mark Taylor, lol sounds like Cynthia Mckinney losing her race hey mark get over it, take it like the big guy…..we need to now about how much moneyand business went to your ”alleged” trucking business…C’mon Mark your performance tonight was shabby…..i’ve made my choice……..

  8. defnotrep says:

    Donkey Kong,

    I think you just said a bunch of gibberash. CandlerPark wasn’t being racist at all. You’re argument is totally silly to me.

    UGAalum knew exactly what he was doing and she called him on it. Good for CandlerPark.

  9. Donkey Kong says:


    I’d also say it helps the GOTV effort. I know that both absentee ballots and early voting are tools that noticeably help the candidate with better canvassing and political machinery. This only gives a further advantage to the candidate with stronger grass-roots support. And, it’s much easier to vote early–no lines, if weather is bad one day, come back the next, etc., so if you get someone to commit to vote early, I would think their chances of turning out would be much higher than on one day when many obstacles could arise.

  10. Donkey Kong says:


    I was being mildly sarcastic in calling candlerparklib racist, though she was the first to bring race into the discussion. Sorry, I’ll be sure to use more blatant sarcasm next time.


  11. defnotrep says:

    In my case, probably not enough. I was actually never one. lol

    Maybe I’ll try being a hippie now. πŸ™‚

  12. Donkey Kong says:

    Me either. I also never have dressed as Karl Rove did, or as the Goldwater conservatives did, in ties and jackets all the time. I am starting to think I’d like to see that return, though, as it symbolized the level of intellectual emphasis of the conservatives of the day. Tell you what–I’ll dress like an old school conservative if you’ll become a hippie.

  13. defnotrep says:

    Hey I liked Goldwater. I’d even be a Repub if the party represented his philosphies.

    I’ll consider the dress lol. Will be hard for me to do I think.

    My trademark is all black clothes….like my heart. πŸ™‚

  14. Donkey Kong says:

    If the GOP represented Goldwater’s philosophies, I would be making money right now instead of spending 20 hours or more per week working towards spreading those philosophies, and PP probably wouldn’t exist. Let’s face it–politics shouldn’t be a passion, it should be a conviction.

    If not Republican, then, and you’d support Goldwater, what party do you support?

    Haha I always knew it! πŸ˜‰

  15. defnotrep says:

    No you really dont know it. ha ha

    I’ve voted Repub before. I voted for Bush last time…which now I consider a mistake.

    I can’t consider myself Repub b/c it’s been hijacked by the religious right.

    I can’t be libertarian b/c they don’t make practical sense on a lot of issues.

    I’m an independent that leans Democrat b/c they are closer to my social values.

    ie Katie Beckett waiver, stem cell research, choice, minimum wage,

    The Repubs dont make sense anymore. They give everything to big business and the religious right…I just can’t go there.

  16. Donkey Kong says:

    Well, now you are falling off the boat on the other side. Just like you are mad that the GOP has been “hijacked by the religious right,” the Democrats have been hijacked by liberal loonies. To put it simply, if JFK had ran against Pres. Bush, I may have cast my first ever Democratic vote. Instead, the ACLU, AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood, et al have the ear of the Dems just like “big business” has the ear of the GOP.

  17. uga_alum_93 says:

    candlerparkliberal: I didn’t say anything about race. When I was typing I was thinking of mainly the crack houses & governmental housing in Blairsville.

  18. Donkey Kong says:

    This was from a CNN article. Very interesting. I think it’s time our boys up in DC start acting on this.
    “The poll released Friday also showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans perceive, correctly, that the size and cost of government have gone up in the past four years, when Republicans have had a grip on the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.

    Discretionary spending grew from $649 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $968 billion in fiscal year 2005, an increase of $319 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Queried about their views on the role of government, 54 percent of the 1,013 adults polled said they thought it was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Only 37 percent said they thought the government should do more to solve the country’s problems.”


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