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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dem Turnout Concerns Tempered by Evaporation of GOP Safe Seats

Jim VandeHei’s WaPo article “Democrats Scrambling To Organize Voter Turnout” reports growing concern among Dems that their GOTV program is lagging behind the GOP’s ground game. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined the critics, says VandeHei:

Pelosi — echoing a complaint common among Democratic lawmakers and operatives — has warned privately that Democrats are at risk of going into the November midterm elections with a voter-mobilization plan that is underfunded and inferior to the proven turnout machine run by national Republicans.
…”What the party really needs is to get serious about local, volunteer-based” operations, said Jack Corrigan, a longtime Democratic operative. “The last-minute, throw-money-at-it approach . . . does not really solve the fundamental failure to organize that is there. The DNC is moving in the right direction, but needs to do more, fast,” he said.

VandeHei quotes DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s reply that “What many people do not realize is that…we are turning our operation into a 50-state, get-out-the-vote effort.” Dean is asking donors for $25 per month for the Dems’ GOTV effort.
The GOP turnout program does sound better-coordinated in VandeHei’s description. But pro-Democratic groups, including the AFL-CIO, America Votes and MoveOn are also gearing up for a major turnout effort. In addition, it appears that GOP resources will be stretched a bit thinner in November. L.A Times staff writer Janet Hook reports mounting evidence that a good many of the GOP’s historically “safe” House of Reps seats are now being aggressively contested — and more vigorously defended.

One comment on “Dem Turnout Concerns Tempered by Evaporation of GOP Safe Seats

  1. Craig Williams on

    The talk about a 50 state plan is mostly fundraing talk. The Democrats don’t develop a good GOTV plan because it would mean developing more grassroots control of the party and with that comes more accoutability for elected Democrats. Doing it through the unions and the Move Ons limits the accoutability. On the other side the Republicans aren’t into creating more democracy within their party .It’s more of an authortarian structure where the grassroots are obedient as opposed to having a voice, so they don’t have the same problem as do the more democratic leaning Dems.
    Better GOTV takes building organization which can’t happen in a few weeks before the election or by using fundraising slogans.


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