Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Academics Question Conventional Political Wisdom

Campaigns and Elections' Politics Magazine: "In the revised edition of their book, Green and Gerber make use of data spanning 9 years and find a good deal of evidence to bolster their earlier findings, namely that outreach in the form of direct mail and robocalls for GOTV purposes are relatively ineffective. The data Green and Gerber rely on stretches back to 1998 and was gathered in controlled experiments in the field with actual campaigns.
Among their conclusions: 'Direct mail is expensive, and its capacity to mobilize voters is typically rather limited.' As for robocalls, Green and Gerber say they 'might help you to stretch your resources in ways that allow you to contact the maximum number of people, but don't expect to move them very much, if at all.'"

Personally, I think there is some truth to some of their findings (especially the part about literature drops being completely useless). I don't agree with all their findings but I think as political professionals we need to not be afraid of the questions. We need to constantly assess our efforts and ask ourselves what we think works and what we can actually prove works.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Top GOTV callers given credit by Obama

Nice touch by Obama to give his top callers credit by name on line. Better if they gave addresses too so we could make sure these folks do get any GOP mail or contact. They are obviously not "undecided" voters.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In: "Top 10 Callers
1. Claudia Sutton4322 Calls
2. Tamar Lasky4145 Calls
3. Henry Krempel1392 Calls
4. Christopher Martin1211 Calls
5. Bill Wack1175 Calls
6. William & Doreen Baer921 Calls
7. Erik Christensen671 Calls
8. Thomas McGrath540 Calls
9. john smith525 Calls
10. Claudette Whyte523 Calls"

Great Candidate Training in Ohio

Good session at the Ohio GOP candidate training this weekend. The setup, prep and most important food were all top notch.

Candidate Training Seminar: 2008 Candidate Training Seminar: "Candidates and campaign staff listen to a breakout session on New Media campaign tactics at the Ohio Republican Party's 2008 Candidate Training Seminar on Saturday, April 19."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stickers may not win votes but they may motivate supporters.

There is a constant and brutal debate among political hacks about signs, stickers, t-shirts and similar "chum" that campaign volunteers seem to consume. Most are in the very passionate camp of opposition to spending a dime on any collateral material. The line of thinking has always been "it does not win votes".

I have always wanted to side a little more with the crazy volunteers.

If we have a candidate that excites a base of supporters we should make it easier for them to take our message viral and that means showing outward signs of support. Which means sometimes...yes, sometimes it makes sense to buy that stuff. Which also means you can not buy the cheapest low quality t-shirts and thinnest smallest stickers out there. We have to make the collateral material worth the passion people put into it.

Worn, With Pride: Old Stickers Mean Status in the Obama Camp - "There are other, more prosaic reasons for holding on to those crumbly old stickers. It's not terribly easy to get your hands on an Obama sticker in the D.C. area -- not anymore, two-plus months after the Potomac primary.
'You have to go online and buy them,' says Democratic and gay activist Phil Pannell, 57, who has several coats with well-worn Obama campaign stickers on them. 'If you have a sticker you better hold on to it.' Also: 'If you see the rainbow stickers for the gay supporters, very difficult to find.'
The reality is, even though one could buy a batch of 50 Obama stickers from the campaign's online store -- and possibly experience a two- to three-week delay due to overwhelming demand, according to a Web site warning -- most people get their stickers the old-fashioned way, for free. And that means they've had to show up somewhere, say at a rally or a get-out-the-vote effort. And that means the sticker is worth way more than its face value. They had to work for it."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Only the Democrats...

The funny part is the RNC is further ahead and our program will work better and cost less.

Democrats are proud of knowing specific details like football schedules in competitive states? Gimme a break, Beach and the Political Department probably has a spreadsheet on weather and average rain fall already worked out. We are way ahead.

Marc Ambinder (April 18, 2008) - Atlas Project Close To Completion: "The Democrats have never done this before on a national scale – just ask any Kerry-Edwards ’04 state director whether they were handed detailed, integrated, fully updated campaign plans when they scrambled to put their coordinated campaigns together in 2004. Rosenthal will work with outside political groups like the Fund for America and America Votes; the company, he said, has built a firewall to prevent the party from learning about his side of the operation.
The project wrote atlases for 15 states – CO, VA, NH, IA, WI, MN, OH, PA, MI, MO, WV, FL, AZ, NM, and NV – they’ve stopped updating their Arizona database because they expect Sen. John McCain to win."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We must catch up.

Why Dems Rule the Web - TIME: "Republicans, who once were far ahead of Democrats in whizbang TV technology, let their party fall behind the nerd curve as Howard Dean and later John Kerry revolutionized and then exploited online fund-raising in 2004. Four years later, the Democrats have widened that gap, using the Internet not only to raise cash but also to organize canvassers and plot get-out-the-vote efforts. Republicans say the Democrats' Web advantage is due to not just greater enthusiasm but also smarter strategies. 'Everything Obama does is fundamentally about a people-powered democracy and a people-powered campaign,' says Mindy Finn, a Republican consultant who ran Mitt Romney's Internet operation. 'McCain's message is different.'"

Republicans will catch up eventually...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Haha - Voter Vault is better and it is free for users.

Clinton Aide’s Databank Venture Breaks Ground in Politicking - New York Times: "But, at the same time, Mr. Ickes is also wearing another hat. He is president of Catalist, a for-profit databank that has sold its voter files to the Obama and the Clinton presidential campaigns for their get-out-the-vote efforts. With his equity stake in the firm, Mr. Ickes stands to benefit financially no matter which candidate becomes the Democratic nominee.
In creating Catalist, Mr. Ickes, who was deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House, has formed a rare entity on the political scene, a for-profit limited-liability corporation that allows wealthy Democratic donors to help progressive organizations and candidates by investing in the company. And if Catalist, which has data on 230 million Americans, is successful as a business, these donors-turned-investors stand to reap financial returns from using their money to help elect Democrats."

I can hear Chad Barth and Jon Black laughing back at the Building now.

Job Opportunity With Students for Life of America Field Agent Program

Job Description --You will start with a week of intense training to give you the skills you need to start and help lead pro-life groups on college campuses. Subsequently, you will travel your region for 11 weeks forming groups at college campuses by networking, motivating, and helping students host events.

SFLA will provide the training and resources you need to be successful. In addition, we will network you with other pro-life leaders from your region that will help you accomplish your goals. No other job will offer you the opportunity to travel the country to meet and work with pro-life college students while helping them develop into leaders that save the lives of the unborn.

Recent graduates or current students who are interested in taking a semester off are particularly suited for the job. Prior activism, leadership, or pro-life experience is encouraged. A car is required.

• All travel and transportation expenses
• Cell phone and communication expenses
• Housing expenses
• Earn $375 per week
• After beginning 6 groups earn an additional $500 per group started
• Bonuses up to $1000
• Other expenses: We will reimburse up to $200 per week for items you purchase specifically for SFL functions, such as fliers, food, beverages, etc.
• Job Referrals: Networking is key to gaining a job within the pro-life movement. If you perform your duties as a Field Agent well we will help you find another job upon completion of the field program. When openings occur in our office we give preference to our Field Agents.

How to ApplyEmail your resume to

Friday, April 11, 2008

When "Hope" meets the reality of urban politics.

Barack Obama may lose support in Philadelphia over 'street money' - Los Angeles Times: "Before the 2002 state elections, a reporter watched two practitioners of the street-money arts in action: Campbell and U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady, a ward leader and chair of Philadelphia's Democratic committee.

Brady was sitting in his campaign office with two of his political lieutenants. He reached into a desk drawer at one point and pulled out a $50 bill -- street money. Brady tore it in two and gave each man a half. Then the men made a bet: Whoever pulled in the most Democratic votes that day from his precincts would get both halves."

Because belief in a candidate and their ideas are just not enough.

If this does not display the dark underside of the Democratic party's relationship with minority voters I don't know what does.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hold on, I am getting a call on my watch.

Van Der Led's WM2 cellphone is Slayer approved - Engadget: "Van Der Led's WM2 cellphone is Slayer approved
Posted Apr 9th 2008 7:47AM by Thomas Ricker
Filed under: Cellphones, Wearables

Can it be? Why... why yes, a watch with integrated cellphone we might (might!) actually wear. The Van Der Led WM2 is a quad-band GSM watch with itty bitty 1.3-inch, 260k color touchscreen display, stereo Bluetooth, up to 240-hours of standby or 300-minutes talk, and 1GB of storage for a few of your MP3 or MP4 files. Better yet, from a distance, those uber geeky keys on the numeric pad look just like the glittering wrist studs capable of mesmerizing Death Metal, she-groupies backstage. Yours for €300 (about $471 US Rubbles) starting Monday. Actual product pressed to flesh in the gallery below."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

SEIU Spends $700k...just in PA for Obama's Turnout

Obama gaining on Clinton in Pennsylvania - "The Illinois senator has also heavily benefited from the Service Employees International Union, which according to recently filed FEC reports has spent well over $700,000 on get-out-the-vote-efforts there. Watch more of Obama campaigning in Pennsylvania »"

Remember...Union dues are to take care of members and organize workers to lift themselves out of poverty.

Yeah, right.

It is to pay back the politicians who help them grow stronger and exercise more clout.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Could the Mayor of Detroit be helping the GOP?

Of course he is not doing it on purpose but Kwame may be helping us out.

"Michigan Liberal::: Could Kwame cost us a moment in history?: "And, since most everyone seems to think that winning Michigan is critical to winning the White House, it just has to be asked at what level do Kwame Kilpatrick's troubles threaten the fortunes for the guy who is the current front runner ... Barack Obama. I think maybe a successful GOTV operation need not have the mayor running the thing, but I don't know that'll be possible if the Detroit political machine is paralyzed over the mayor's scandals. But, the bit about state and national leaders not wanting to be seen with the mayor in public is very accurate."

This shows some real inside baseball of Dems on how important inner city African American voting is to their POTUS nominee.