November 8, 2006

Democrats! Yay!

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 2:54 pm

Can we all now admit that Karl Rove is not a genius? The Republicans’ strategy for this election was: (a) try to convince the average voter that the economy and Iraq are both fine, (b) if that fails, slime the opponent with negative ads and robocalls, and (c) if that fails, suppress and/or steal the vote. If the voters believe that your party’s governing philosophy is basically sound, this can work (see: 2004); if the voters are convinced that your party’s leaders are incompetent and out of touch… Bzzt.

Good for you, America!

My record on volunteering is decidedly mixed. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a candidate for New York State Senate in Westchester who I volunteered for kind of by accident, won her race by a nose. Lois Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 6th is down by about 3,000 votes as of this writing but the race hasn’t been called. (Presumably, they will look at the absentee ballots.) [CORRECTION: I originally mistook Lois Murphy for Patrick Murphy and reported the results for Pennsylvania’s 8th district: Murphy up by about 1,500 votes. Right now it looks like the Dems will pick up the 8th and fall short on the 6th. Fingers crossed.] Diane Farrell in Connecticutt’s 4th is down by about 4,000 votes with 93% of precincts reporting; the race has been called for Chris Shays. You can add these to my 2004 record working for America Coming Together in Independence, MO: John Kerry lost Missouri by about 200,000 votes. (But he did win Jackson County!)

Maybe I’m a jinx. Or maybe this GOTV stuff doesn’t really work. Seeing it up close, it’s hard to believe that it does: the lists are sloppy, the voters are jaded, and the numbers don’t really work out. Yesterday, I probably visited 100-150 households with 200-250 voters. There were a few dozen volunteers like me, meaning we contacted a few thousand voters. If, say, 5% of them voted when they otherwise wouldn’t have then we produced a few hundred extra votes in an election where nearly 200,000 votes were cast.

I don’t know if the Republican’s have some magical better way of doing things (maybe it looks something like this)—I know the Democratic volunteers are convinced they do. (But the Democratic volunteers are convinced that the Republicans stole the last three elections, murdered Paul Wellstone, and have better snacks.) Clearly, the Republicans turn-out machine is not so magical that it can completely subvert the popular will (which is essentially what Karl Rove was trying to convince us of, up to and including yesterday).

Weirdest voter reaction from CT-4: “We’re not voting for Diane Farrell. We have friends!”


1 Comment

  1. […] Good job, America. Filed under: Politics — Chris @ 1:34 pm Probably the most historic aspect of Tuesday’s election is that it broke my four-year-old election-canvassing jinx: […]

    Pingback by Good job, America. « Procrastiblog — November 6, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

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