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What Can I Do To Help?

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Chris Bowers has a great number-crunching post up on MyDD today that shows the need for some serious GOTV efforts for Democrats for the November election.  We have to turn out our base.  Period.  And we need to do so through the usual — and some new — means of energizing Democratic-leaning voters.

…However, I simply cannot imagine any way for Democrats to win this election if Republicans turn out at higher rates than Democrats, as the Gallup poll LV model must undoubtedly show them doing. If we hold a nine-point edge among registered voters, than we should also hold a nine-point advantage among likely voters. If we fail to do so, then we have utterly failed in our field operations, our message, and our media strategy. You cannot find a nine-point nation swing within Independents. According to 2004 turnout levels, that would require moving 17% of Independents out of the Republican column and into the Democratic column. According to 2006 turnout levels, where Independent turnout will probably be even lower, an even larger swing will probably be required.

Democrats must turn out in higher rates than Republicans in order for us to win this election. This is requires a media strategy that targets African-Americans, since African-Americans are the ultimate Democratic base demographic. This requires a Latino GOTV program that is not vaporware. This is going to require a field strategy that targets Democrats, not just trying to increase the vote. This requires candidates to actually say they are Democrats in their commercials. Above all else, this is going to require not ducking Iraq, since nothing is on the mind of voters, especially Democratic voters, more than Iraq. If we lose on November 7th, and wake up the next day with Republicans still in charge of both branches of Congress, it will be because we did not do a good enough job getting Democratic voters to the polls. We have made real gains in partisan self-identification over the past two years relative to Republicans (see here, here and here). If we end up getting beat in turnout anyway, as the Gallup and Fox polls suggest we will, then our leadership will have squandered the best chance to retake Congress in a generation because they simply failed to see their own base as a meaningful part of the overall campaign equation.

Read Chris’ whole piece — he’s got some great links and some interesting number analysis in it.

Single women have been a traditionally under-targeted group for the Democratic party, for reasons that I cannot fathom. Women in general need to be more of a target audience — hello, we represent 50% or more of the US population, thank you very much — and yet we tend to fall by the wayside in mailers and targeted messaging. Short-sighted, I say.  Taylor has been doing some work on this issue, and we have been trying to raise its profile, but there is clearly a whole lot more to do.  (Any thoughts you all have on how to do just that would be most welcome.)

What can you do to help GOTV and in other voting efforts for Democrats between now and November?  Lots!

— MoveOn.org is putting together some "Call for Change" house parties for people to make calls to GOTV.  You can find information on how to host one or participate here.

— You can register to vote here (or help friends and relatives register to vote).

— Lots and lots of volunteer opportunities at the DoMoreThanVote website.  Check it out!

— The DNC website is still working its "100 Days" campaign.  Lots of great ideas here!

— Contact your local Democratic group and offer some time to volunteer for canvassing, phone calls, filling out mailers, whatever.  Also, check into Democracy for America.  Or any number of other groups that work on progressive issues.

The AFL-CIO and other labor groups have a lot going on as well — if you are a union member, check with your rep.

— Get involved and volunteer with a local candidate.  Or donate (we have a handy list of candidates on our BlueAmerica page).

The bottom line:  it is going to take all of us pulling together to win this election in November.  Please pick an action and take part!  Now, let’s get to work!

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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