As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Who's Getting Out The Vote?

Both sides are bragging about how many votes they've turned out and how many voter contacts they've made so far. One thing that isn't being taken into account, I think, is the rise of early voting and increased absentee balloting. Between 1/4 and 1/3 of the electorate has already voted, so last-minute swings necessarily must have less of an effect given that so many votes are already banked. Even in those polls that capture this swing, the GOTV efforts of both sides are striking.

One reason: Both parties have been in touch. Among likely voters, 15% had been contacted by someone urging them to vote for a Republican, and 15% had been contacted by someone urging a Democratic vote. What's more, 27% had been contacted by both sides.

Democrats have not taken turning out the base for granted this year, nor have they sloughed off these efforts onto local unions. MoveOn's Call for Change program will hit 5 million personal calls to voters; yesterday at one point there were 19,000 members making calls. And that's not even part of the DCCC or DSCC efforts.

And the most important thing to note about GOTV is that it's a turn-out-the-base strategy. This is not the time where you try to persuade voters. That's why this moronic example from the right-wing blogosphere is so laughable.

How do I know the "Get Out The Vote" machine in full swing?

Well, my phone has received a phone call every hour for the past two days. I enjoyed the Ben Stein call, but the rest just go right to the delete button. It's not that they are bad, its just that theres nothing more annoying the someone still trying to sell you when you've already bought the car.

There is one other thing I've noticed. All the calls are for Republicans and Republican issues. I havent received a single call or pamphlet from the Democrats for their candidates or issues in over a week. Its as if the Democrats ran out of ammo a week early.

Because wasting a call or pamphlet on a self-identified Republican at this stage of the game would be folly. I haven't received a single call or pamphlet from Republicans in my entire adult life. I don't think that means they don't have a GOTV strategy. Then again, I'm not a shortsighted lunatic.

The answer to all of this, of course, is that we'll know tomorrow. But I think Democrats are stepping up like never before. And in addition, it's harder to actually get out that vote when the public doesn't agree with you.