Patterico's Pontifications


Team Obama Gears Up for 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:06 am

[Posted by Karl]

From Sunday’s NYT, a tale of the New South:

AS North Carolina Republicans tell it, the Obama for America volunteers stole in under cover of night and stayed, undetected — noticed belatedly only because of election results across the state.

“It was very scary,” said Chris Sinclair, a strategist for Billie Redmond, the Republican candidate for mayor in Raleigh. “You don’t know what’s going on until you wake up after Election Day and go, ‘Oh my gosh, what happened?’ ”

What happened was that candidates supported by Democrats trounced Republicans in the Raleigh and Charlotte mayoral races this fall, and even wrested control of the Wake County school board from Republicans associated with the Tea Party.

It was only after the damage was done that local party leaders learned of the hidden hand of thousands of Obama for America volunteers and staff members. Never publicizing their work, they went door-to-door across the state, successfully getting their voters out to the polls in a highly effective dry run for 2012.

However, the NYT’s Jim Rutenberg then cannot help but get distracted reporting on 2012 campaign messaging and such.  You have to read almost to the end to get back to Team Obama’s organizational efforts.  For example, in Charlotte, incumbent Democrat Mayor Anthony Foxx made ten times the number of phone calls as his GOP challenger.  To put this in context, Foxx, the first Dem elected mayor since 1987, won 51.5% of the vote in 2009 and should have been vulnerable in an off-year environment.

Team Obama, led by a former community organizer, has reason to put stock in organization.  They beat Hillary Clinton for the 2008 nomination in part by out-organizing her McGovern-style.  In the general election, they blanketed battleground states with field offices, which likely contributed 53 of Obama’s 95  electoral vote margin in 2008.  It is not surprising (if ironic) that in a tougher political environment, they would look to Karl Rove’s 2004 turnout-based strategy for hope.  However, Rove found out the hard way in 2006 that GOTV efforts have their limits

The GOP (and the right more broadly) will be upping its GOTV game for next year.  Obama has to hope the fundamentals don’t continue to sour on him the way they did for his predecessor.  Nevertheless, the tale of OfA in the New South should be a cautionary one for the GOP.


18 Responses to “Team Obama Gears Up for 2012”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f07e38)

  2. Did he really, Karl, how many primaries did he win after Iowa, it was a much more close run thing,

    narciso (ef1619)

  3. Obama is an scumbag.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  4. Dont mean to be O/T but why the hate for standardized tests?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  5. To quote a great movie, “I do not think it means what you think it means“…

    At worst, the NC election results suggest that a decent GOTV campaign can shift the balance in off year elections with relatively few people motivated to vote, especially if the other side was sleeping. That isn’t going to be the case in 2012.

    My analysis keeps coming down to the same questions:

    Will anyone who voted for McCain now vote for Obama, and in large enough chunks to offset the votes Obama loses? Will conservatives show up to vote in lower numbers than they did in 2008? Were there chunks of potential voters that Obama didn’t tap in 2008 that he’ll now get? Is it possible that the GOP candidate will be so bad and run so incompetent a campaign that the now-disillusioned Obama voter will return to Obama?

    Maybe, but I doubt it. Even if Obama runs a tremendous GOTV campaign, all it does it push supporters to the polls. And if one doesn’t start with enough support, that isn’t going to be enough to change the outcome… and especially if the other side has never before been as motivated.

    steve (369bc6)

  6. The stunning part of the conference was learning – as part of casual conversation during breaks, meals, and other socializing time – how many rich people are planning for the eventual collapse of European society.

    Not stagnation. Not gradual decline. Collapse.

    It sounds like there is more than a euro-disaster afoot.

    Then on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve rocked financial markets by forcing America’s 31 largest U.S. banks to “stress test” balance sheets to determine their capability to withstand an 8% drop in the economy; which would cause home prices to plunge by 21%, and unemployment rate to jump to 13%.

    #OccupyAnthonyWeinersShorts (d1c681)

  7. Off-year local elections are easier to influence this way than the national general election. Especially for the Dems, as they have the easily mobilized public employee unions on their side. Turnout in these things is often under 10%.

    I often wonder what would happen if local elections were required to occur at the same time as the state or national elections. People always talk about getting voters to the polls, but perhaps it would be better to get the polls to the voters.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  8. Causality doesn’t necessarily need to correlation,
    it’s hard to make that conclusion without say examining other facts

    narciso (ef1619)

  9. Hard to tell what te issues involved were;

    narciso (ef1619)

  10. From the second highlighted link,a considerable funding differential , might have had something to do with it,

    narciso (ef1619)

  11. Did the repub’s opponent blame obesity for our debt?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  12. Occupy philadelphia peaceful?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  13. With a covert operation, turn-out is key.
    In a low turn-out election such as an off-off-year (2011), a small dedicated cadre can generate impressive results by identifying and meeting with motivated voters –
    and do it all under-the-radar.
    In a Presidential Year, such efforts have to be scaled-up to such a degree that it becomes highly unlikely that they will stay unnoticed.
    Plus, the other side has been working on their plans for some time too, and this event just gave them a wake-up call that they cannot shlough off.

    AD-RtR/OS! (08f9d5)

  14. About the only thing most Obama supporters are willing to work at is voting for more welfare. So no shock here.

    ODB (0f13a8)

  15. New curbside sign:

    Will Vote for Welfare!

    AD-RtR/OS! (08f9d5)

  16. Awwwwwwwwww I’m gonna miss Bawney Fwank’s vagina.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  17. Not.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2582 secs.