Will there be a wave? Or will it be dissipated by complacency?

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That big, beautiful electoral wave we see building may be a mere ripple by the time it reaches shore on November 2. Some of my blogpals are worried, and rightly so.

Tabitha Hale of FreedomWorks issues a challenge:

Here's the thing: Republicans are undoubtedly going to win next Tuesday. We will pick up house seats and some Senate seats.

You control how many seats we will win.

Getting people to turn out has never been easy. The ground game is the hardest part of any campaign, which is why the party has just opted to not focus on it this go round. The failure of the party to push GOTV efforts is embarrassing. Ace laments the lack of motivation here. Melissa Clouthier blames the GOP. They're both right....

This election cycle is as much about beating the Republicans as it is about beating the Democrats. For the first time in a long time, we will have a freshman class full of Representatives and Senators that were elected only because the people wanted them there - not because they inherited a seat or were able to buy their way in. The party turned their back on many of them. There is a whole block of elected officials that owe their jobs to the people....

There is no better time to step away from your computer and put up some signs or make some phone calls than right now. November 2nd is it, people. We don't get a redo. What we do over the next eight days will impact our entire country for the next two years and beyond. This is the only shot we have at halting and reversing Obama's agenda. Right now. This week.

Ace now expects November 2 to be little more than a "pretty good night" for Republicans.

And the reason? A lot of people are sitting on their [posteriors] waiting for things to change instead of fulfilling their patriotic duties as American citizens and making the change happen.

Based on this analysis I am giving up on my big predictions and scaling back to something like 44 seats or so. We will lose all the close races (we always do), and people like Ruth McClung and Sean Bielat will lose. Only the lock seats will come through for us.

You know what the Democrats call a loss of 44 seats after they've socialized health care and blown up the budget to Greek levels? Acceptable losses. They'll take that, all day and twice on Sundays. Because they've now set the country on an inexorable path to socialism. They're playing the long game, while we're... well we're not playing any game at all.

A gain of 44 would be nice, but it wouldn't be the sound thrashing that sends the surviving Democrats scurrying in fear to make alternative career plans for 2013. A gain of 44 would not deliver the message that Americans repudiate the radical Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda. It would be treated by the media as a failure to meet expectations.

I was very disappointed in the reaction from Ace's commenters: Effectively they told him to chill out, that the polls all looked great, that Republicans are motivated to vote, that knocking doors is beneath their dignity, and it doesn't do any good anyway.

Baloney.

The only poll that matters is held on November 2. The only people who will vote in that poll are the ones who remember to show up. Those of us who care about the future of the country need to motivate and remind the conservatives who only occasionally vote to show up.

In 2004, about 1.5 million Oklahoma voters showed up to elect Tom Coburn to the Senate and to give George W. Bush the majority in every single county. A massive turnout effort, organized under the leadership of then state GOP chairman Gary Jones, had volunteers contacting hundreds of thousands of conservative voters in the days leading up to the election.

Less than a million voters turned out in 2006. Gov. Brad Henry got about 100,000 votes more than John F. Kerry did in 2004, but his Republican challenger, Congressman Ernest Istook, got less than a third of the vote that George W. Bush received.

One-to-one, face-to-face contact is by far the most effective means of voter persuasion. A 2002 study by a couple of Yale political science professors found "that during a local election, each face-to-face contact with a voter increased his/her chance of voting by seven percent. Furthermore, their results suggest that every 12 face-to-face contacts garner one additional vote, even if that voter had never heard of the candidate beforehand."

It would certainly be more convenient for the candidates if robocalls, sign waving, and literature drops (the political equivalent of ring-and-run) were the most effective methods. Door-to-door campaigning is time-consuming, and it requires a lot of advance work by the campaign staff to prepare lists, maps, and literature and to recruit volunteers to do the work.

But, as Ace has discovered, retail politics is also a lot of fun. It's a chance to socialize with people who share your passion for politics, and you come back from a day knocking doors with stories of interesting encounters.

There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with government. Voters would like an alternative to the party in power, but they have to know there is a realistic hope of change for the better. There are Democratic House seats that should be competitive -- the district has voted for Republican candidates for other offices, the Republican challenger is a credible, articulate community leader -- but they won't be competitive because the challenger doesn't have the money or manpower to introduce himself to the voters.

Your effort can make the difference. Be the wave. I challenge each of you to volunteer at least two hours between now and election day for a conservative candidate. More on how to do that in the next post.

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In the previous entry, I mentioned that there are congressional districts that could be competitive for conservative Republicans, districts which have voted for Republicans in the past, where the GOP challenger is a credible community leader. But they ... Read More

1 Comments

LD Jackson said:

Great article, Michael and some very sound advice. We can not afford to sit on our laurels and expect a victory on November 2 to just happen. If we want to change our country, we are going to have to make it happen ourselves.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 26, 2010 12:06 AM.

More Morrissey misery? The Weisberg case was the previous entry in this blog.

How to be the wave -- and wash Dan Boren out of Congress is the next entry in this blog.

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