Wednesday, August 03, 2005


The Hackett Message: GOTV Works!

Constantine over in the comments threads at Steve Gilliard's News Blog points out this amazing fact, in response to a question on Democratic voter turnout in yesterday's special election:

I know it's an off-year election, but I want to know how many Dems in OH-2 voted in 2004 as opposed to yesterday.

Ask and you shall receive: Election Results, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 2nd District

Charles W. Sanders (Dem): 87,156
Robert J. Portman (Rep): 221,785

More interesting: Paul Hackett got MORE VOTES in a special election than the Democrat got in 2002, or any other midterm election since 1978.

As Constantine's message implies, special elections usually draw far fewer voters -- and fewer Democratic voters -- than do standard elections. For Hackett to get more Democratic votes in a special election than the Democratic candidate for that same seat got in the previous regular election last year in 2002 is a very good sign that the blogosphere and netroots method of GOTV works very well, indeed.

(UPDATE: I misread part of Constantine's post and got 2002 and 2004 confused. Here's the 2002 numbers for OH-02: 2002 Charles W. Sanders: 48,785 Robert J. Portman: 139,218 James Condit Jr.: 13 Note that while Sanders in 2002 got fewer votes than Hackett this year (Hackett got 55,151, at least semi-officially), Portman in 2002 -- and every other mid-term -- got FAR MORE votes than Jean Schmidt did. More proof that even in the deepest-red districts, GOTV matters.)

Thanks for the shout-out, Phoenix Woman.

The optimist in me says: WOW! The Democratic GOTV effort was AMAZING! If this is what we can do in a special election, we're in good shape for the midterms.

The pessimist in me says: We may have "topped out" our support in the special election, and no more votes will be forthcoming in 2006.

That said, there shouldn't be any false hopes of grabbing this seat in 2006. I think you hit the nail on the head about the importance of putting up a fight for every race, because it helps things down-ballot.
No prob, Constantine.

I'm thinking that while winning this deep-red seat may be tough in '06 -- for one thing, the GOP will be ready to fight next year -- Hackett's well-primed to go after DeWine's Senate seat next year. And since that'd be a statewide race, Hackett would have a much better chance, especially now that he's famous.
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