Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day 2010: It’s the Turnout, Stupid

Say what you will about how crazy the GOP has begun, how the Teabaggers have poisoned the well for a Republican comeback. In an age where the decibel level has gone off the charts in terms of the noise you find in the media, in an age of high unemployment, rampant disinformation and ignorance, in an age where people feel entitled to their own opinions and their own facts, it is all about voter turnout.

Like no other time, including 2008, It’s the Turnout, Stupid.

In Nevada, Harry Reid is taking heart over the heavy early vote turnout that seems to favor the Democratic candidates. Nevada is also a strong union state and the unions are good at getting their members to the polls. But without that, and that alone, not only will Nevada deprive itself of a Senate Majority leader, someone who can bring the bacon home to his very unpopulous state way out of proportion to their numbers, but saddle itself with a senator whose antics and statements can only be associated with borderline lunacy and over-the-top racist.

In Florida, there is a recent flap over Charlie Crist’s claims that Kendrick Meek was approached by Bill Clinton and asked to step aside so Crist could get some Democratic votes and defeat uberconservative Republican candidate Marco Rubio. One school of thought has it that black voters would be upset with what would appear to be Democratic party leadership asking a black Democrat to step aside for a white Republican – and not vote. The other school of thought, largely fueled by early vote turnout in black neighborhoods has it that black voters are so upset about this that they will turn out in record numbers to vote for Meek, and also for Alex Sink who is in a neck-and-neck race for Florida governor.

In New Hampshire there is another tack being taken. An interesting strategy that maybe harkens to the fact that New Hampshire Democrats are really an odd bunch. Apparently the Democratic turnout is so high that Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.feels that his comfort zone has been reached and has actually told voters this in an email today:

“But the reason I am writing, is to tell you that I was just briefed on the voter turnout so far and there is good news! Democrats are turning out. We need just a few more Democrats to go to the polls and we will able to win seats that the pundits say we can't! Its that close!”
To which I say, I hope Buckley’s right. I hope not one Republican gets elected who wouldn’t have because some New Hampshire voters decided to sit this one out this year because the chairman thought it was won.

But Buckley is a party chair so he should know this from first principles: It’s the Turnout, Stupid.

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