October 29, 2006

GOP Hoping GOTV Gives Them Edge Again in 2006

The GOP's GOTV effort, begun in 2002, has helped the GOP continue to make gains and was key in the reelection of W in 2004.
Democrats running with the wind at their backs may be headed for a wall when the GOP cranks up a get-out-the-vote machine perfected over the past five years.

Operatives inside both parties predict that Republicans will close the gap in all close races during the crucial days before the election the GOP calls the "Final Four."

Suburban Denver's 7th Congressional District, which has seemed to lean Democratic in recent weeks, was a testing ground in 2002 for what was then a new Republican secret weapon that relied more on technology and marketing than shoe leather. It gave Republican Bob Beauprez the 121 votes he needed to win.

Republicans say they are ready for a national rollout of that effort, and Democrats in the know are worried.
This year, however, despite the superior GOTV operations, the GOP has its own reasons to worry. First, Democrats aren't stupid and have most likely adapted their own campaigns to combat the GOP in terms of mobilizing voters. Second, despite the superior quality of the system (which is quite good, actually, and can be directly credited for turning out Republican and Republican-leaning voters), the base in many parts including Colorado, aren't quite as motivated as they were in 2002 or 2004. Looking at the support for current GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, the conservative/Republican base isn't all that interested in a losing cause, which could result in dragging down other state-wide Republican candidates. A superior computer database and marketing scheme can not succeed if the campaigns can't pound the pavement, or can't succeed in swaying back many independents/undecideds who have begun to lean towards the Democrats or are simply sitting out '06.



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