Author: Crissie Brown

Morning Feature: Voter Outreach, Part II – Enthusiasm and Anger

“It’s like this,” the voter said. “I donated and voted in 2006 and Democrats didn’t stop the war. I donated and voted again in 2008 and President Obama didn’t change much of anything. I’m done. Goodbye.” Every phone-banker encounters those voters, and some aren’t that polite. How do we maintain our own enthusiasm? (More) Voter Outreach, Part II – Enthusiasm and Despair As Democrats kick off our GOTV campaigns this week, Morning Feature will focus on voter outreach. Yesterday we emphasized the importance of listening when we contact voters. Today we discuss how to build and maintain our own enthusiasm when we meet rudeness or anger. Tomorrow we’ll explore a sample calling script and and how to use tools that make voter outreach more effective. Voter outreach is usually pleasant and can even be inspiring, especially as we gain experience and confidence. At least in my county, our outreach campaign is focused on registered Democrats, encouraging them to volunteer and to vote. Most of the voters I listen to are courteous, generally agree on political issues, enjoy having a chance to share their concerns, and like hearing that their concerns go into notes that are passed up the chain to their candidates. As we discussed yesterday, that personal contact is the most important element of voter outreach. But some Democrats are disappointed with their elected leaders. While the voter...

Read More

Campus Chatter – September 10, 2010

Elias Howe patented the first sewing machine today (1846). Also a sheriff’s posse killed 19 unarmed striking workers at the Lattimer coal mine in Pennsylvania (1897), and 20 black students began attending formerly whites-only public schools in Alabama (1963). And the Large Hadron Collider at CERN went online (2008). Greetings and social banter here. Kossascopes below. (More) The Janitor Professor of Astrology was granted limited access to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider to research this week’s Kossascopes. They let him read about it on the internet. Virgo – Yes, the R in CERN is out of alphabetical order. Even in Switzerland. Libra – Actually, quarks are not the sounds made by quantum ducks. Sorry. Scorpio – Higgs-Bosons do not form subatomic cleavage. But they may vibrate. Sagittarius – The CERN lab is not creating a black hole that could destroy the…. Capricorn – The CERN lab will also not find or disprove any deities. Aquarius – The important word in “science fiction” is “fiction.” Pisces – Avoid collisions of protons in tunnels at 3.5 TeV this weekend. Aries – Supersymmetry is about something else entirely. But those are nice too. Taurus – Elementary particles were not discovered by Sherlock Holmes. Sorry. Gemini – The electroweak force is not the one that undercooks your toast. Cancer – Yes, pooties use string theory to predict the laughter of humans. Leo – Dark...

Read More

Morning Feature: Voter Outreach, Part I – Listening

With a 25-point Complacency Gap looming in the midterms, Democratic Party groups across the country have begun voter outreach campaigns. In my county, our target is almost 1000 calls over the next two weeks. We have a script, but as our outreach director told us: what we say matters less than how well we listen. (More) Voter Outreach, Part I – Listening As Democrats kick off our GOTV campaigns this week, Morning Feature will focus on voter outreach. Today we emphasize the importance of listening when we contact voters. Tomorrow we’ll discuss how to build and maintain our own enthusiasm when we meet rudeness or anger. Saturday we’ll explore a sample calling script and and how to use tools that make voter outreach more effective. First let’s dispel a myth. Our challenge as Democrats in 2010 is neither that far more Americans support Tea Party Republicans, nor that far fewer support Democrats than at this time in 2008. Last week’s Gallup poll shows TGOP approval having recovered only slightly from an all-time low of 26% to 31%, a change barely greater than the poll’s margin of error. And at 32% approval, Democrats are only two points below where we stood in September 2008, a change only half the poll’s margin of error. Instead, our challenge is a Complacency Gap: in a midterm election with the presidency not on the...

Read More

Campus Chatter – September 9, 2010

Our nation’s capital was named Washington today (1791). Also California became a state (1850), NBC was founded (1920), and a moth shorted out a computer at Harvard (1947), thus the computer term “bug.” And Elvis Presley debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show (1956), at least from the waist up. Greetings and social banter here. Good morning!...

Read More

Furthermore! – The Complacency Gap?

For months, the news media have written and talked about the Democrats’ “enthusiasm gap” in 2010. The polling suggests that more Tea Party Republicans than Democrats are excited about voting this year. Factored into “likely voter” models, that explains most of the TGOP’s leads in the midterms. But what does it mean? (More) While registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 4:3, and hold a slight edge in approval ratings, the most recent Gallup poll shows the parties tied on the generic ballot question. Last week’s much-ballyhooed 10-point TGOP lead was apparently sampling error and since April the parties have hovered within the poll’s margin of error. But that same Gallup poll shows Tea Party Republicans having a 25-point lead in voter enthusiasm. TGOP voters are twice as likely to be “very enthusiastic” about voting in 2010, and numbers like that are factored into “likely voter” profiles used by Gallup and other pollsters when estimating support for candidates and issues. The common media narrative for the “enthusiasm gap” has been that Democrats are dissatisfied with President Obama and their elected leaders in Congress, and thus are less likely to vote in 2010. But do the facts support that narrative? About “likely voter” polls. First a bit of explanation. In “likely voter” polls, pollsters do not count every voter they contact. Instead they randomly select responses to fit their projected...

Read More

Archives