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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, November 06, 2006

The GOP GOTV machine

I was part of our local GOTV (Get Out The Vote - when I first heard the acronym as a political newbie, I thought "WOW - we have our own TV channel?") over the weekend, pulling a 3 hour shift each of Sat and Sun. We got a ton of voice mail boxes, as you might expect, but of the people I talked to, I'd say full 90% were enthusiastic. I got one "Die Republican Scum", one "oh, sonny, I'm a Democrat, so I'm really sorry, but I can't vote for those guys" and one really nice "I think you've got me on the wrong list - I work for DFL house candidates". Of the other lukewarm responses, the most common were "I'm not decided yet" and "I'm voting for some of them, but not all".

I also read this on Hugh Hewitt's site this morning, and his words "powered by polite volunteers who understand the need to persuade not merely berate" got me thinking about something one of our volunteers said. He's a fellow who always comes out to help, but really hates doing the calling. This year, as he was leaving, he commented "Next year I think I'll hire some one and pay them $10/hr to take my place. That way, I'm helping, but don't have to actually do the work".

My response was "Interesting idea, but it makes it far less effective. One of the reasons that I believe the Republicans GOTV effort is so much better than that of the Democrats is that we concentrate on volunteers, and much of the Democrat effort is concentrated on paid phone banking. If I get a caller who needs a little persuasion, I'm in a position to do that. A paid caller who doesn't believe in the message and only has a script can't do that."

Yesterday, I got one lady who, after I asked if we could count on her support for Kennedy, Pawlenty (ug!), Ramstad (UG!!) and our local legislative candidates, she said "I just don't think I can vote for Pawlenty. That stadium, doncha know." I replied "yes, ma'am, I'm very frustrated by it too. But I'm going to hold my nose and punch Pawlenty. He's with us 70% of the time and I suspect a Gov. Hatch will only make me happy 20% of the time. Which do you prefer?" After a pause, she replied "yes, I guess you're right. Thanks for the call".

Every one counts. That's just one story out of the hundreds of thousands, and why the GOTV effort is probably underestimated by the polsters and the Democrats. I am not feeling really optimistic about tomorrow, but I am not feeling as bad as the polls and major media might wish me to believe.

Oh, I'm still staying home tomorrow.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I also got a call this weekend from the Kennedy campaign.

In 2004, I went door knocking for the President. This time around I have been unable to participate (other than donating money and blogging). However, I am thankful for all the GOTV volunteers!

And shame those who are staying home throwing tantrums...

9:54 AM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

It's been pointed out to me that "punch Pawlenty" could be taken to be a threat against our Governor, so as to avoid investigation by large men with dark glasses, I'd like to clarify that I'll be instead filling out the oval next to Pawlenty's name. Punch is just a figure of speech, honest!

10:33 AM, November 06, 2006  

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