More on the 8th & 12th

I’ve had a few people ask me about my comments in this morning’s paper, both via email and stopped on the way out the door at church.

The reason is just this — if the GOP can capture either the 12th or the 8th, it means that its ground game is as good as is being hyped. If the efforts fail, the GOTV effort will have been proven not up to the task.

Now, for the GOP, this can be extrapolated nationally. Democrat GOTV efforts center primarily around candidates, with party assistance. So, each state depends on its slate of candidates and third party groups. like unions, to organize and man GOTV efforts. The party assists, but it falls mostly to candidates.

The GOP, on the other hand, abandoned that approach in 2000. It now centers around the local GOPs, with heavy training and involvement from the state and national Republican committees. The training is the same, coordination is the same, etc. The GOP is therefore able take, just as an example, field operatives from Bibb County, Georgia, and insert them into Pinellas County, Florida and they are ready to go out and perform GOTV with little additional briefing.

As a result, we can say that if the GOTV efforts are not up to par in either GA-8 or GA-12, the GOP nationally is going to have trouble.

And to put this in further perspective, in more than a dozen tightly contested Congressional Districts around the country, including at least one here in Georgia, more Republicans have already cast early and absentee ballots this year than were cast total in 2004.


  1. me says:

    Oh, I don;t know John. My super-secret sources from all three parties (Libertarians are actually ORGANIZING, which is in itself confuding if not self-contradictory) tell me that Whitehouse is ahead by EXACTLY 3.14159%

    Tester has already won. The Montana elections board is merely waiting to make the announcement for forms’ sake.

    Lewis Carroll over at Oxford has releaed a poll that shows all is forgiven, though, so y’all may yet have a chance!

    Keep smokin’ ’em while ya got ’em!

    I’ll keep you posted on all the stuff I make up, and you continue to do the same, deal?

  2. Chris says:

    And I’ll add to me’s comments that the disgust exhibited privately by close republican friends indicates a larger republican turnout will actually work against republicans in this election.

  3. IndyInjun says:


    I think it OUTRAGEOUS that these people, seeing the disaster that is being perpetrated in their names, are “exhibiting privately” their disgust.

    Several months back a fairly-high level Reagan and Bush 41 Treasury official emailed me this:
    “It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that as many Republicans as possible be defeated this fall.”

    Last week Peggy Noonan wrote a wonderful column saying that MANY in the GOP are hoping for a wipe-out so that they can rebuild the GOP in a manner consistent with its PRINCIPLES.

    Yours truly went on our local talk radio and told of these things. The host asked if that meant that Barrow was my choice over Burns. I said that he was. He asked why and I responded that Burns voted for the largest social spending program in 40 years which will cost $8 trillion, while Barrow voted to extend the tax cuts, for the harsh House immigration bill, and to kill the death tax.

    In short, we conservatives should look to our principles and hold those in the party accountable for totally disregarding them in the manner as Burns did, especially when their Democratic opponents are moderates.

    Burns might win yet, but if he loses it will be because of his utter abandonment of GOP principles, which trumps those presidential visits.

    The founders risked execution and we have gutless cowards “privately exhibiting” disgust with an out-of-control party that is destroying America.

    We don’t need to be silent. We need to grab these lying scoundrels by their lapels and tell them to their faces why we are going to do everything possible to give them the boot.

  4. Iraqi Info Minister says:

    So, Erick, let me make I understand… in targeted Congressional races, more Republicans have voted absentee/early than the total number of voters did AT ALL in 2004?



    I have some swampland in Iraq for sale. Interested?

    As always… a quote is in order:

    “The Americans, they always depend on a method what I call … stupid, silly. All I ask is check yourself. Do not in fact repeat their lies.”

  5. Iraqi Info Minister says:

    Whoops. I forgot the ‘sure’ in that first sentence.

    And let me add a ‘sure’ in this sentence too: I’m sure the vaunted 72 hour program is the greatest load of political crap I’ve ever read about. It’s also wonderful spin and marketing — and it’s not surprising that the media write about it all the time. Frankly, the articles publicizing the 72-hour program are more valuable than the plan itself.

    The idea that races depend on turnout is absurd, — kind of like the statements made by my namesake during the Iraq war. If political campaigns all come down to turnout, why bother with television ads at all? Why not just run a race with a dedicated turnout operation and communicate via tried and true GOTV techniques? There’s a simple answer, amazingly enough, and it goes something like this: Because you’ll get your ass kicked by the campaign running ads on tv. It’s called mass communication — and it’s the same reason why the articles lauding the 72-hour program are more valuable than the program itself.

    “But you have to have a good ground game, too,” ‘they’ say.

    Personally, I love that every victory is won because of their turnout and GOTV operation; likewise, every loss slips away because the turnout and GOTV program wasn’t done right. But no one can tell which it is until AFTER the election. Hmmm. Seems like a pretty good racket.

  6. Chris says:

    I attribute aLOT of the absentee increases to the distrust of the electronic voting machines, especially now since you don’t need an excuse to vote absentee.

  7. Fogle says:

    “Fair enough. I still don’t think the 72-hour program is worth much.”

    Spoken like a true Democrat. Y’all just keep thinking that and we’ll keep winning. The longer it takes Dems to catch on the better.

    We encourage you to pack it in on the Friday before an election. Maybe stand around the mall and register voters/hand out literature. Oh, and don’t forget to make lots of robo-calls.

  8. Fogle says:

    “If political campaigns all come down to turnout, why bother with television ads at all?”

    You seriously don’t know jack sh*t about campaigning. In the new GOP-dominated era of elections, everything up to the final 72-hours is building name ID and establishing/controlling the image/message.

    The 72-hour task force is aimed at galvanizing the base via the established name ID, image, message, etc. They all complement each other.

    You can’t have a successful 72-hour effort without a positive name ID and message and vice-versa.

  9. me says:

    Yeah … or maybe we did it for years and figured out it didn’t work!

    It’s ALL about money, message and media (or at least all the parts campaigns can affect are about that). Get a clue.

  10. me says:

    Funny. The only races in competitive districts where I’ve ever performed BELOW the party average are the ones where I was forced to waste time and moeny on field / GOTV.

    Hey, people tend to overvalue what they can effect, and of course no one in his right mind would let you near their media, Fogey.

    Or am I wrong? How many broadcast ads have you had a hand in?

  11. Iraqi Info Minister says:

    Wow, your campaign record is so impressive. You blog for Max and like to chase John Barrow around. So, tell me, how many campaigns have you won with your 72-hour program?

    And is the answer for why the Republicans have won recently is their superior turnout program? Their successes both statewide and nationally all come from this 72-hour program? Is that how Bush won in’04? Or Perdue in ’02?

    Doesn’t that simply mean that Democrats merely need to match this mythic beast to erase all the gains Republicans have made?

    Wow, I didn’t think it would be that easy to reverse everything. Color me a convert. I’ll get right on that for ’08.

    Wait a minute. You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Please provide specific examples of races that have been won with this program. And, please cite examples of races you’ve won with the 72-hour program. Until then you will remain an anecdotal annoyance.

  12. Chris says:

    It’s all just a waste of time and at last count about $1.6billion anyway. It’d be easier to just steal the election right out from under the people instead of getting into people’s faces like a swarm of gnats up till the moment the election occurs, then vanishing into your backrooms to do the kind of dealing you set out to do in the first place.

  13. kspencer says:

    Speaking as an American, it saddens me that GOTV is a tactic. That we have to work to get people to vote at all, regardless of party, and that both parties think it worthwhile (and necessary) to cajole and tempt to slice a few more points out of a vast crowd of apathetic citizens, is both sorrowful and shameful.

    I really, truly have no idea how to go about fixing it. Like all human problems, it’s complex – and undoubtedly any solution will bring problems of its own into the mix. But still, I will strive to push out voters. Unlike most on this list, my push will be to both sides. That’s for two reasons. Second, and less important personally, I’ll be pushing everyone I see while at work, and I strive to remain completely nonpartisan while on on duty. First, and foremost, I believe it part of a duty I have accepted – something inherent to “true faith and allegiance”.


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