Tags: midterms | Democrats | ground game | turnout

WSJ: Democrats' Chances in Midterms Hinge on Turnout

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 12:21 PM

Could a Democrat midterm surprise be in the works? With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, some are pondering the possibilities that election models showing Republicans set for a sweep could be wrong.

As millions have already cast early voting ballots across the country, the math for Democrats is complicated, The Wall Street Journal reported in a column by longtime political analyst Rhodes Cook. He said that Democratic success hinges on turnout, especially among crucial party constituencies like youth and minorities.

"To stand a chance at holding the Senate next month, Democrats need more moderates (as well as liberals) and fewer conservatives to turn out," Cook wrote, noting that in midterm races, the electorate tends to be "smaller, older and whiter than in presidential-election years."

In 2010, another off-year, Cook noted the turnout of independents, older voters and white voters leaned more Republican after the 2008 election cycle that ushered in the Obama administration.

"To that end, (Democrats) are making a concerted effort to increase the turnout of pro-Democratic youth and minorities, two groups that usually account for a much smaller share in midterms than in presidential elections.

“But this is a daunting challenge for Democrats in a year when their candidates are linked to an unpopular president who, deservedly or not, is drawing blame for many of the domestic and international problems that are occurring on his watch," Cook wrote.

One expert told The Washington Post that Democrats must enable a solid ground game to stand a chance in tight midterm races.

Columbia University Professor Donald P. Green told the Post's The Fix column that the "field goal" analogy  — a game-winning last attempt to rally a victory —is apt, but also very much a long shot.

"A very, very strong get-out-the-vote effect will be something in the order of 8 to 12 percentage points. That would be a hugely successful face-to-face canvassing operation," Green said of a ground game geared at targeted turnout.

"But even if that operation is pretty darn extensive, say in the midterm elections, you might contact a third of the target voter population, and move them 9 percent of the way. That's an advantage of three percentage points.

"And that's not even three percentage points of margin, because it's just bulking up the people they consider to be their supporters by three percentage points," Green said. "That's why to say two to three percentage points isn't a crazy thing, but it's a matter of guesswork."

He added: "Sometimes I think that voter mobilization campaigns flatter themselves to think that they can have that effect."

Campaigns have, over the years, have gotten better at ground-game tactics that are known to actually work, Green told the Post.

"Presidential campaigns have gradually moved from persuasion-oriented to mobilization-oriented strategy," he said. "They've done that in part because they're striking a deal in effect with their activists to be able to run a more ideologically motivated campaign, get more of the activists fired up, see more ground activity — and pay less and less attention to the persuadable voters that might be in the middle."

One RealClearPolitics analysis noted, however, that some liberal-leaning media have already given up coverage of the midterms, fearing a sweep.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Could a Democrat midterm surprise be in the works? With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, some are pondering the possibilities that election models showing Republicans set for a sweep could be wrong.
midterms, Democrats, ground game, turnout
537
2014-21-23
Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 12:21 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved