The Ground Game is On!

by Sal on November 2, 2008

in Election 2008,Politics

One of the big reasons Bush won in both 2000 and 2008 was a successful Get-out-the-vote ground game.  Jim Geraghty at National Review Online’s campaign spot posted some notes from his mentor, known as “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, who has some insights into how the ground game is going in the battleground states.  The notes should help to give McCain supporters some optimism going into Tuesday’s election.  (It should be noted that Obi-Wan is a realist, and was somewhat down on the Republican chances prior to the 2006 mid-terms). 

Your posts on some polls in Pennsylvania that show McCain within reach emphasizes what  some readers need to remember, that a lot them aren’t seeing the pointed end of the McCain campaign unless they live in a targeted state and are a targeted voter. If you have the right demographic and you are in a key state, you have gotten getting six or seven mailers that are extremely good negative pieces (covering all those issues that a lot of conservatives think McCain isn’t hitting hard enough on). You have also gotten six or seven taped phone calls from Republican leaders and ordinary citizens and the messages are good. You are also hearing radio ads about “congressional liberals.” 

The RNC is claiming 64 percent more contacts like this than in 2004 and I think that’s probably accurate. And the 2004 effort was impressive – RNC was praised for it. This is bigger.

The point is that the mainstream media should be raising these questions not just Campaign Spot. The fact that some Pennsylvania polls are showing the state in play or that Obama went to Iowa now should be talked about. The fact that the numbers now show what you’ve been speculating about, that the absentee and early voting is following the pattern we have seen in recent elections and not the big advantage previously predicted for Obama voters —   that’s more than a little interesting.  It’s interesting too because the McCain campaign is probably actually driving up democratic and independent voter turnout numbers in some places because they have targeted pro-McCain voters within those groups.

Another question: Can a polling environment be considered normal in which the worst economic trauma since the Depression has occurred? You can sure make a case for that nightmare scenario, that the public is furious and unforgiving and going to blame Bush and the GOP for the economic crisis. You can also argue the public does more on Election Day than vote its mood.  You don’t hear pollsters even raising this question; they just point that McCain came from a pretty commanding position in early September  to way behind.

The full post can be found here.

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