Skip to comments.All Get Out (Why Republicans beat the Democratic 527s in getting out the vote.)
Posted on 12/15/2004 11:50:25 PM PST by nickcarraway
Liberal activists are pondering how pro-Democratic advocacy groups, such as America Coming Together and MoveOn.org, exceeded their goal in turning out record numbers of voters on behalf of John Kerry yet still lost to George W. Bush.
The answer is simple. While Democratic groups did a good job in mobilizing their base, the Republicans did a great job. The reasons for the GOP's success are mainly due to a better use of volunteers and a centralized, Party-based strategy that allowed for more effective coordination.
To a significant extent, the Kerry campaign and the Democratic Party depended on "527" committees to get out the Democratic vote. A 527 group, named after a portion of the federal tax code, can accept unlimited donations for spending on ads, voter mobilization, and other activities as long as it doesn't directly coordinate with a political party or candidate. America Coming Together (ACT) and the MoveOn.org Voter Fund, the leading pro-Democratic 527s, spent $125 million and $21 million respectively during the campaign.
These 527s employed thousands of paid, professional organizers to contact potential voters. ACT, for instance, brought in activists from New York, California, and Massachusetts to work in key battleground states such as Ohio. In that state, ACT's army of canvassers knocked on 3.7 million doors, held more than 1.1 million doorstep conversations, and registered 85,000 new voters. Including the efforts of the MoveOn.org Voter Fund and other 527s, liberal activists registered a total of 300,000 new voters in Ohio.
Traditionally, Democrats won in Republican-leaning Ohio by boosting turnout in Democratic counties and minimizing the GOP-margin of victory in Republican counties. In Democratic Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, ACT's goal was to get at least 350,000 votes for Kerry, which presumably would ensure victory statewide. ACT exceeded that number; Kerry received 433,262. Overall, Kerry's 2.66 million votes were the most a Democratic candidate had ever won in Ohio.
But it wasn't enough. The Republican voter mobilization campaign in Ohio as elsewhere was run strictly by the Party and did not include 527s. And unlike the Democrats, the Republicans relied on unpaid, local volunteers. This gave the GOP a major advantage over the Democrats. Living in the communities targeted by the GOP, these volunteers took advantage of social networks, such as church groups and home-schooling associations, to contact friends, neighbors, and relatives. Nationally, in the last 72 hours of the campaign, the Party's 1.4 million activists contacted -- either by phone or knocking on the door -- at least 15 million voters.
As a result, in Ohio, while the 527s significantly boosted the Democratic vote in a few key urban counties, the Republicans broke records in dozens of GOP-leaning counties. Indeed, the 10 counties with the highest percentage of voter turnout went for Bush.
Florida was no different. Thanks in large part to ACT, Kerry received far more votes than Al Gore in 2000. For example, in the nine critical counties running along the Interstate-4 corridor between St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, Kerry picked up 206,000 more votes than Gore. While impressive, Bush did even better, adding 334,000 votes to his 2000 numbers. The Democratic victory strategy was premised on the notion that Kerry would win Florida if he could get 3.31 million votes. Kerry in fact received 3.57 million votes. Yet Bush comfortably won the state by 52-47 percent.
The Florida case again showed the superiority of the GOP's use of community-based volunteers conducting face-to-face canvassing. Bruce Cain, a University of California Berkeley political science professor, says that the Democratic 527s actually irritated potential voters. "They have to rethink the strategy of bringing people in from out-of-state. This tactic seems to backfire," concluded Cain.
The issue of coordination highlights the limitations in using 527s. The Republicans were so successful because they employed the Republican Party apparatus to mount a centralized voter mobilization campaign. The Democrats, on the other hand, were plagued by an unwieldy network of labor, civil rights, 527, and other groups that were legally prohibited from coordinating with the Democratic Party. This frequently led to situations where the groups were working at cross-purposes to the Kerry campaign, causing a duplication of effort and sending confusing messages.
Prior to the election, many political analysts were impressed by the emergence of the 527s, some even speculating that they might replace the political parties. This is not going to happen. As evidenced by the superiority of the Republican Party-led voter outreach effort over the 527-led Democratic effort, the 2004 election proves that the political parties still reign supreme.
John Carlisle is director of policy at the National Legal and Policy Center.
No! No it didn't!
It was a brilliant strategy, sprung from the bulging brow of brainy liberal intellectual prodigies! It only didn't work because... well OK I'll go ahead and tell you...
We CHEATED! That's right, we Republicans cheated! That's the only reason your incredibly clever and subtle and convoluted 527 scheme didn't work! That's right! No other Republican will tell you this, but I will!
In 2008, do the very same thing! You almost got us! We were really, really, scared. Karl Rove was shaking in his boots, and you can take that to the bank!
Only next time, use more convicted felons to knock on the front doors of various soccer moms. There's no better way to get a college-educated middle manager Ohio hockey Dad to consider voting for a liberal commie democrat like Hillary Clinton than to have a tatooed guy with a New York accent show up on the front porch of his McMansion and try to give him some bumper stickers for his Navigator, and maybe a lawn sign. Almost worked too. All I can say is "whew."
Since we're now free to speak about our little secret I might as well reveal that I voted for Bush over 700 times as well as personally reprogramming certain Diebold machines to switch Kerry votes to Bush. I was well rewarded by Halliburton for my nefarious activities.
...is that people in the Midwest...
...by a bunch of obnoxious, sanctimonious, liberal twits...trucked in from New York City?
We saw evidence of the quality of these paid "volunteers" the Democrats put out on the street to register their voters. They roamed shopping center parking lots accosting people. They were frequently rude, hostile and downright nasty if they thought the person they were addressing was a Republican. And, they could not read well, many of them, and did not get the registration cards filled out properly.
We always knew when they were working the local area. We would get quite a few calls from distressed residents telling us about these awful people. We also got quite a few new registrations ourselves because these Democrat workers jogged our voters' minds to make sure they were going to be able to vote too.
Our volunteers were fervently focused and dedicated to the re-election of their president.
We also had many registered Democrats volunteering with us because they were so appalled by John Kerry. We were grateful to each and every one of them and did not make their party registration any issue. They were frequently embarrassed they were still registered as Democrats.
You did what? You destroyed ballots? How could that happen?
There is such a thing as rule of law and common decency.
I do hope you are kidding.
Republicans must stand for rule of law, the Golden Rule, and decency or we will become just like the Democrats have.
What you say you did, and I hope facetiously, is typical of all those Third World banana republics where individual rights don't exist and the people are crushed under the strongman's thumb.
Is this what you want for your country?
We make a country good by each one of us committing tiny, daily, continual acts of goodness and decency.
It was easy. Don't tell the Democrats, though, or they'll be extremely angry. What do you mean they're already extremely angry?
LOL! Right...be sure to get all that good publicity with crazy Communist groups like ACORN signing up voters and being paid in crack, too. That went over really well with weekly church-goers. It's a brilliant strategy and you Dims just didn't get enough of your misfits...er, volunteers...out there among the people in the red states. Try, try again.
whats so funny is that is what they think. I joined some Protest Warriors earlier in the year to counter a weekly protest at Halliburton. The hippies were calling us thugs and saying we were paid by Halliburton. Well I need my check! Its Christmas you know.
Relax, dear. It was humor...pure humor. Base on telling the feeble-minded democrats what they want to hear.
I worked the last 6 days in N/E Pennslyvania. We had a group of people who were absolutely top shelf.
Here's a story that shows the difference between us and them:
One of our young female volunteers said that she had spoken to a lady on a front porch in Scranton.
The lady said she was a Democrat but would vote for the President because her son and nephew were in Iraq.
She continued by saying that a week before two "voluteers" with union jackets came to her door. That conversation went something like this:
Union thug: "We see you're a Democrat, you're voting for Kerry, right?"
Democrat Lady: " No my son and nephew are in Iraq. I think Bush would do a better job protecting them."
Union thug: " You know they are both going to die for Bush's oil, don't you?"
As she was telling us the story, our volunteer was crying and said that she and the Democrat Lady cried together.
Thre's a scene in Godfather II where Michael sees Castro's rebels willing to die while fighting government soldiers. He says, "They're going to win. They fight for a cause. The soldiers get paid to fight."
The rats found out that paid "volunteers" don't do as well as real volunteers.
Great! Quote of the Day material! (if they're still doing that.)
You lazy piker. I voted over 850 times. But then I graduated from Marquette University and benefitted from their "How to vote illegally multiple times" course. Remind me to send you the cliff notes
I wasn't in on the Halliburton deal though. I guess it still does depend on who you know.
For a great read on the "Mighty Texas Strike Force" check it out:
Yehaw to my fellow Texans for a job well done.
I don't see how he could have destroyed 700 votes. I worked all evening in a closet at one of the leading Demodog precints here and was only able to destroy 348 ballots. The WH did send me a Christmas card, though. Got it yesterday. Perhaps he just didn't know the right party bosses?
You forgot to point out how we cheated: We cheated by having Democrats mess up votes at the polling places.
I wonder how much of that $150 million the Dems spent went to fake voter registrations turned in by workers looking for some extra crack money.
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