« Finkbeiner Steps Down as Senate Minority Leader | Main | Recognize Anyone? »

November 30, 2005

This Song Goes Out to Shaula

The Democrats are capable of organizing a good ground campaign. They did it it New Jersey this year and impacted the margin of Corzine's win. They were organized; they had the technology; they worked with labor and concentrated on the turnout using sophisticated canvassing techniques. 

Yesterday I was having coffee with my friend, Shaula, and the new West Coast Emily's List contact, Anne Moses.  Shaula had been a Democratic PCO in Seattle and worked really hard to clean up the voter's list in her precinct only to have nothing take on the master list.  Ever. I can't think of one person I know who worked on any of the 2004 election campaigns in this state who doesn't have these kind of stories (except possibly the Murray folks).  We compared stories about the "uncoordinated campaign" and had our state stories confirmed as nothing out of the ordinary for Democrats at the state level across the country by Anne.

So I was happy to find this report in my files as I was roaming through my "files that might become stories one day".  It came in from a diarist named Paleo from New Jersey right after the election. Here are the highlights:

As the old saying goes, elections come down to turnout, turnout, turnout.  Good turnout operations are often the difference between winning and losing, as witnessed by Ohio in 2004, Georgia in 2002, and Michigan in 2000.  The turnout operation run by Democrats and labor on Tuesday in New Jersey may or may not have been responsible for Corzine's win, but it certainly was responsbile for the margin.  Not every state has such an influential labor presence, but some of the methods used in New Jersey can be emulated elsewhere.

"The party put 7,800 union members and 12,000 paid and volunteer workers on the streets of New Jersey on Election Day, according to a senior Democratic Party operative who asked not to be named. The soldiers were assigned to follow up on sophisticated canvassing that the Democrats had been conducting since early June.

The effort became something of an inside joke in the campaign. Early in the evening at Corzine's election night party, the DJ repeatedly spun the Doobie Brothers track "Takin' It to the Streets."

The effort was financed by the Democratic Party and run cooperatively with the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee and the Corzine campaign.

Democrats took a 20-year voting history of all 6,310 voting precincts in the state, supplied by the National Committee for an Effective Congress, and cross-referenced it with their own polling and other data.

It was costly, but precise.

The Democrats sent canvassers out armed with Palm Pilots that had individual data and scripts for every voter who answered the door. The information was so precise, the canvasser knew without asking what the voter's top issue was."

Howard Dean rocks!

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 30, 2005 at 09:41 AM in National and International Politics, Strategery | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:


For all the bitching and complaining about the "uncoordinated", one would almost not notice that this supposedly disasterous operation won the top of the ticket, gained seats in the State House and took control of the State Senate.

I mean, it's almost as if they took a 20-year voting history of all 6,000+ voting precincts in the state, supplied by the National Committee for an Effective Congress, and cross-referenced it with their own polling and other data...

Of course, it's slightly unfair to compare the 2004 Coordinated to a GOTV operation in a state with party registration and the top ticket candidate alone spending $44 million. What's the lesson to learn here exactly? If you spend a fuckton of money on a platinum-plated field operation in a very blue state, you win?

Posted by: FFAristocrat | Dec 1, 2005 12:53:37 PM

I think we could have done far better than we did last year had we had a real technologically advanced, coordinated campaign and not had to go through that miserable recount and court challenge to keep Gregoire in.

And I think that will now come. It's the next stage of winning here and nationally. I'm just glad it's clear it's begun.

Posted by: Lynn | Dec 1, 2005 3:29:59 PM

I live in a pretty blue district of Tacoma. I never got a knock on my door. I could not even turn up a yard sign for Gregoire when I wanted one. Rossi signs were everywhere, Gregoire signs were not to be found. Traveling in eastern WA was even worse. It really felt to me like she was taking the election for granted.

Posted by: dave | Dec 9, 2005 11:27:28 PM

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference This Song Goes Out to Shaula :

Post a comment