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Getting Out YOUR Vote, not THE Vote

Columnist Vin Suprynowicz raises a point in the LVRJ today which has been the source of my campaign training seminars for years now. He noted that the Clark County Elections Department confirms that Sharron Angle’s ground game “turned out 71 percent of registered Republican voters, compared to 63 percent for Democrats.”

This is why I train candidates to “get our YOUR vote,” not “get out THE vote.” The fact is, not all Republicans vote for the Republican candidate. So simply getting Republicans to vote isn’t necessarily in the best interest of the Republican candidate.

This is why mass GOP GOTV phone calls on election day, where the party calls ALL Republican voters and urges them to go vote, are foolish. Unless you’re calling voters who you KNOW are going to vote for your candidate, regardless of party affiliation, there’s a good chance you’re activating and turning out voters who will vote against your candidate.

Such was the case in the Angle race. Yes, it may well be true that a higher percentage of Republican voters showed up at the polls than registered Democrats. HOWEVER, exit polling shows that while 95 percent of the Democrats who voted voted for Reid, only 85 percent of the Republicans who voted voted for Angle.

In other words, the Republican get-out-the-vote effort succeeded in getting Republican voters who were voting for Reid to get out and vote for Reid. This is what happens when you take the easy and cheap way out and just call ALL registered Republicans on election day instead of doing the hard voter ID work necessary BEFORE election day.

And with predictable results.