A Pretty Ingenious GOTV Strategy

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

18 Responses

  1. trizzlor says:

    Yes, the outcomes from this kind of social pressure are really striking (see Table 2, Gerber et al. 2008, APSR). I can’t find the paper right now but I remember seeing a result that the “your neighbors voted” mailer was more effective than having someone come to your door and as you to vote in person. Such a finding should substantially change the way campaigns do GOTV. Not to get too partisan, but I do feel that this is one area where the GOP’s anti-intellectual messaging is really going to hurt them.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to trizzlor says:

      Actually, I think that the GOP may be hurt for a slightly different reason. Which is that this is a Democratic mechanism to tap into what Republicans have already mostly accomplished by other means. One of Rove’s great innovations was utilizing a natural Republican advantage among social groups to get people to prod other people to vote. (Not “someone showing up at your doorstep” but “The guy you know from the Elks Lodge showing up at your doorstep.”) There are, I’m sure, people that this method didn’t reach that using these mailers might. I don’t think GOP anti-intellectualism will result in a refusal to do so. I think that there is less hanging fruit in general, though (especially in mid-terms where GOP historically gets good turnout), and also because of less unity and enthusiasm at the moment among those who would coordinate such efforts (not just this particular methodology, but also Rove’s).Report

  2. Kolohe says:

    Not as ingenious as this one, though.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

      Back when I was in college, I had a summer job downtown in The City carrying boxes and parcels between offices. One of the people I worked with, a delivery truck driver named Mueller, though he looked more Irish than German, was also a writer. He came into work one day with a huge grin on his face.

      “I just sold a story!”


      “I sold it over the phone.”


      “You know why I sold it over the phone?”

      “No idea.”

      “It’s to an anthology called Young Black Storytellers.”Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Kolohe says:

      This seems likely to be a phyrric victory without much of a purpose.

      1. He is probably still in the minority on the board.

      2. Now that the gig is up. Can he ever get elected again? Will he even be able to maintain his seat.

      3. Tangent: Anti-gay activist? Sigh……

      4. I find it interesting that a lot of young right-wingers seem prone to pranks and unethical conduct like James O’Keffe.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to NewDealer says:

        2. Does it matter? He was never going to get elected anyway. Once is better than never.

        4. What’s unethical about this? He found a clever way to sidestep the voters’ racism.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

      Were someone to actually lie about a verifiable fact during a political campaign, is that a violation of any laws, electoral or otherwise?Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        No, except for cases of libel/slander and commercial fraud, lying is constitutionally protected speech.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

        Likely not. There is no zone of communication in which the First Amendment privileges questionable statements more strongly than in political speech. E.g., “Even now, six years after the issue first arose, Obama has never released his long-form birth certificate.” Is there any question that this is protected speech, despite even Fox News verifying that it is untrue?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        I figured as much, but wasn’t sure if there was some sort of fraud potential given that they are soliciting something from another party. In this case the “something” is a vote rather than something tangible like money or property, but it still seems like if it is acquired under demonstrably false pretenses*, perhaps it still qualifies.

        * Most campaign lies can’t be proven to be demonstrably false and known to be by a politician. Even the quoted Obama line isn’t necessarily a lie as I understand it because, technically, Obama has not released a long form birth certificate because long form birth certificates aren’t a real thing. I’m thinking specifically of a candidate sending out campaign literature that explicitly states he is a race other than what he actually is. That can be proven to be a lie.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

        @kazzy a proposition which is not susceptible of being proven objectively true or false is generally something for which I would use the word “opinion.” E.g., “Barack Obama is the worst president ever.”

        A proposition that is susceptible of being proven objectively true or false, but for which proof would be exceedingly difficult to obtain, is nevertheless a contention of fact. E.g., “Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.”

        The part that amazes me is how readily politicians will offer up to public consumption propositions for which the objective disproof is trivially easy to locate: E.g., “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”Report

  3. Brandon Berg says:

    Voting records are publicly available?Report

  4. Oarboar says:

    *waves hello*

    I came here thanks to Brad DeLong’s linking to the Double Down post. I’m in Bellingham, where we just had a hotly-contested election revolving around the possibility of a coal export terminal being built in Whatcom County. I received a postcard from Washington Conservation Voters telling me that I was an excellent voter for voting in the past five elections, and letting me know my average was better than that of my neighbors. I thought “Well, that’s certainly different,” but now I see the method to their not-so-madness.

    I like this blog, and I’ll be bookmarking it.Report

  5. Damon says:

    We keep going down this trend and finally someone will PAY me to vote for them. I can’t wait.Report