Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sounding the Alarm

Originally posted at MoCoPolitics.

All over the country, the Big Blue Wave is getting ready to crash down upon undefended Republican beachfront property. Jim Webb is ahead in Virginia, Harold Ford is neck and neck in Tennessee, Claire McCaskill is leading in Missouri, Bob Menendez is pulling away in New Jersey, and even Ned Lamont is back from the dead in Connecticut.

And don't even get me started on the House races. New races are being declared in play even as we speak, and the latest numbers are that as many as 75 Republican House seats are at risk. Despite my best efforts, I can't keep track of them all.

The one exception to the Big Blue Wave is right here in good 'ol MD. Yes, the Post puts O'Malley up 10 and Cardin up 11, but now word comes that the Baltimore Sun has O'Malley up 1, and a Cardin-Steele poll out tomorrow that nobody wants to talk about. And of course the Wayne Curry and the Curryettes thing is not going to help.

If Cardin and O'Malley had been up 10, they will most likely win despite the recent movement. If they were up 5-6, they will probably squeak by. If they were in fact up less than that, they will both likely lose given the current momentum. What an unbelievable embarrassment that will be, particularly if Cardin's loss ends up costing control of the U.S. Senate, which it very well might.

Neither statewide candidate has a particularly great GOTV operation going, at least that I can see here in Montgomery County. Both campaigns are being run pretty exclusively from Baltimore, despite the vote-rich DC suburbs being the target of opportunity. Commenters here have touted the Party's Coordinated Campaign -- I'm not impressed. The Coordinated Campaign is being ignored entirely by O'Malley and the folks in charge, while well-meaning, are completely over their heads. Local Montgomery County folks, knowledgeable about their local communities, are being ignored and pushed aside by inexperienced "campaign aides" who need a map to find their way around. The general expectation is that Cardin and O'Malley are both going to win, so a lot of the activity seems to be "see and be seen" rather than actual outreach and GOTV.

With six days to go, that needs to change. Momentum in both races is currently going the wrong way, and there is a lack of urgency that seems out of place with the circumstances.

Once again, I believe that the key to both these races is going to be Montgomery and Prince George's County turnout. In 2002, it doomed Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. It needs to be better, and it will be up to local MoCo folks to make it happen.

Get to it. There's not a lot of time left. Six days and counting.

7 Comments:

Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

Not using local people. Isn't that how Lieberman got his ass kicked?

11/01/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger OnBackground said...

Ouch!

11/01/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Gillogly said...

MoCo is a bit off here. One, the GOTV generally does not start until the last weekend. Two, there have been a couple of meetings of GOTV folks and precinct folks and candidates. Three, yes the GOTV is young but they are not in over their heads. MoCo is entitled to his/her opinion but I see it otherwise.

11/01/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger MoCoPolitics said...

Kevin --

Starting GOTV the "last weekend" before an election is a proven recipe for losing. I really hope that the coordinated campaign's GOTV is not just starting this weekend. OTOH, that would explain the general absence of serious GOTV up to now.

Let's be clear -- GOTV is not just going door to door saying "hey, please vote, OK?" GOTV is about identifying your core voters as well as your secondary supporters, and making sure they all get out to vote. With the secondary voters, there must be an element of last-minute persuasion as well. If you're still ID'ing voters with less than a week to go before the election, you're in trouble.

Bottom line: good GOTV starts, not the last weekend, but weeks if not months beforehand.

11/01/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger The League: Reassembled said...

The Democrat's have a coordinated campaign office in South Baltimore, but much of the statewide campaign is being run out of the party's Prince George's County headquarters at 4351 Garden City Dr. near the New Carrollton transit station.

11/01/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mdman said...

I have been working GOTV in Montgomery County for months and it is far and away the best GOTV operation I have seen. As of earlier this week, 900 people had signed up for GOTV the weekend before the election. I have been canvassing at least a half a dozen times already. There have not been masses of people, but it's been pretty steady. There has been phone banking going on for weeks, as well. I'm sure the GOTV could be better, but it's not bad. It takes people, however

It is true that the O'Malley people have their own campaign office and operation running. Time will tell how effective that is. I think coordination is important so that efforts are not duplicated. Interestingly, One day that I was canvassing drop off voters, I saw an O'Malley worker doing lit drop. Not as effective, but still something. I had some free time last weekend, so I called the O'Malley HQ and they were not doing any canvassing, nor was the office even open on Saturday.

The coordinated campaign is working for both Cardin and O'Malley, so they are getting some lift from us. In addition, our GOTV calling is state-wide and is calling some independents and a few Republicans.

As a contrast, last weekend, I worked for Jim Webb in VA. I did a lit drop only, so there was no canvassing going on last weekend. There were lots of volunteers, which is good, but canvassing is much more effective.

11/01/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

As part of the O'Malley campaign, I can say that our Rockville office is open EVERY DAY...I don't know where you went last Saturday, but it must not have been our office. We have been phone banking every night for months. We are working very closely with the Coordinated campaign for weeks. It is hard to tell us apart! as it should be. The coordinated campaign with the help of the O'Malley campaign has been identifying voters for weeks not and we have called thousands and thousands of drop off voters.
The most public of GOTV efforts occur the weekend before the election. This weekend we have a massive sign wave on the corner of Colesville and Georgia, Sat am at 10:00 followed by a canvass...we have canvassing all day starting Today, Friday and going through Monday...we have phone banks all day through election night...the Democratic Bus Tour will be in MC 3 days this weekend...today starting at Shady Grove and working it's way down the county, Tomorrow at 3:30 in Downtown SS and then to Blair HS For the Gonzago/St. John's football game, Sun. night at a Candidates forum in Potomac and Monday with a Gore Rally at Leisure World.
Today we flyered at the SS Metro...4th day this week...and again tonight and then to a phone bank. Tomorrow the wave and then canvass and then work with the bus tour and then phone bank until 9:00 pm....start all over on Sunday and again on Monday and then on Election day, up at 4:00 to start checking on the polls...won't stop til they close at 8:00
As someone who has been working on this campaign for almost 2 years, you really hit a nerve when you said we aren't out there...the real question is:
We're out there....WHERE ARE YOU????

11/03/2006 11:03:00 AM  

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