Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some good news about the midterms

Over the last few days we've been inundated with bad news about the midterms when it comes to polls. Yesterday Nate Silver wondered if it was time for the Democrats to panic. I say a resounding "NO!" to that one. Instead, Democrats need to do what Derek Willis documents that they're doing.
With a strong possibility that Democrats could lose control of the Senate in the midterm elections, they are investing heavily in voter turnout efforts.

In states too close to call like Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina, Democrats are making much greater investments in the ground game than Republicans.
So while Republicans continue to spend their money on television ads and direct mail, Democrats are focusing on getting voters to the polls. The difference in expenditures on staff and voter contact operations is dramatic.
According to the Upshot’s tallies, Dem outside groups, parties and candidates are outspending their GOP counterparts in Alaska ($1.9 million to $224,800); Colorado ($4.4 million to $556,100); Iowa ($1.4 million to $105,000); Michigan ($1.4 million to $767,400); and North Carolina ($3.2 million to $835,000).
Greg Sargent points out the critical issue.
The crucial thing here to watch is whether Democrats have success in registering — or inducing early voting by — people who might otherwise not be inclined to vote. In a year when core Dem voter groups appear less inclined to vote than core GOP voters do, anything that can marginally shift the electorate in a Democratic direction could conceivably make a difference.
Basically, if the electorate in 2014 mirrors the electorate of 2010 (in other words, if the status quo is maintained), Democrats will likely lose. The only way to ensure that doesn't happen is if more women, young voters and people of color show up in November. And the way to do that is to invest heavily in the ground game.

President Obama demonstrated to the political world that an effective ground game can change the course of both presidential primaries and general elections. At least in the states discussed by Willis, we'll soon learn whether or not the same thing can be said for midterms.

You're not going to hear much hoopla about this in the media. But I'm extremely happy to learn that Democrats are doing EXACTLY what they need to do to.

5 comments:

  1. One of the worst sins the mainslime media commit is its total disregard of African American voters. It's like they don't matter. They beat the same drum in the 2012 elections, and what struck me when I went to vote early at the BOE was the palpable sense that the many African Americans standing in line knew the game the Rethugs and media were playing and they were determined to make their voices heard through the vote. Diane Sawyer even said the day after the election, "Who knew women and people of color could make such a difference at the polls!" Really, Diane?

    On a side note, when I was doing my daily run near the BOE one Saturday morning the lines snaked around for about 2 blocks as people waited for the polls to open. A young African American woman held a hand made sign that said, "Stop disrespecting my President". Needless to say, no local news media were there to ask her about her sentiment or ask any other African Americans how they may have felt about the disrespect and hatred directed at PBO.

    When he was local news anchor in the early 90's Jerry Springer said a school levy passed because the ministers in the African American churches galvained their congregations to organize and vote, but the media ignored that story because it was in the African American community. I always respected him for that.

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  2. Not only do the Democrats have a money advantage in so many Senate races, they bought airtime early while the rate were lower, so they're getting more bang for their advertising buck. I believe they learned that trick from President Obama's re-election campaign. It's easier to do when you're not dependent on a few big donors cutting you checks at the last minute.

    As for Nate Silver's headline, just remember Betteridge's Law.

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    1. Thanks for the link explaining Betteridge's Law.

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    2. Thank you for that link. I had never heard of Betteridge's Law before, and the explanation is quite illuminating. It sounds like headlines ending in question marks could also be called "click bait"?

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  3. Today PoliticusUSA reports that polls - even those ignoring African American voters - are showing a strong surge for the Dem candidates. Huzzah! I heard Paula Poundstone on NPR's "Wait! Wait@ Don't Tell Me" say she refuses to answer polls and thinks she is typical. This means those who DO answer are not at all useful as indicators of the 'typical' voter!! While she was joking, she MAY be onto something. Many polling firms still use only landlines rather than cell phones omitting so many kinds of people the samples cannot be accurate. The point is - it's still up to YOU. Vote, get others to vote, and the world WILL change.

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