This post is, once again, about one of my favorites. Politics and campaigning.
The latest polls came out for our local congressional race (NM-1, Incumbant Republican Heather Wilson vs. Democrat Patricia Madrid) and they polls have Madrid ahead, but a couple percentage points.
Well, close. Both races are within the margin of error, so that means they are technically tied.
This congressional seat is very important, it’s a handful of what have always been considered “vulnerable” seats. And given the continual disasters the Republicans keep running into, there is a very good chance that they are going to lose control of Congress (at least the House).
I’m not going to go off on the recent (and not so recent) disasters to befall the Republicans, right now at least. Instead I want to look at something that’s been the strength of the Republicans and has been a problem with the Democrats. A problem that maybe the Democrats can solve this time around…
The ground game, better known as Get Out the Vote (GOTV), is the most crucial component to an election. As much as it pains me to say this, because I love political strategy and crafting a message, the key to winning is getting the people out to the polls. No people means no votes.
The Republicans have had a better GOTV game in recent years. They have perfected the craft of microtargeting, getting people down to house numbers (knowing to call the people at 615 but not 617 or 621) and telling them that if Kerry was elected abortions would be available on demand, or if Gore won then hippies would keep you from putting gas in your SUV. You would get so worked up it would encourage you to vote.
As you can guess, the Republicans are having serious problems with the base this election season. People are fed up with what the Republicans have done, or not done depending on your view, while in Congress. It’s going to get harder for the Republicans to get their base out this season, because of what they see as not getting anything done despite having control of the White House, both houses of Congress and the Judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are growing in numbers, if still not in backbone. (More on that later)
Is this going to be enough to take back Congress, or will the Republicans be able to cowboy up their base and GOTV efforts and hold on to their power for two more years? We’ll find out in about two weeks.