Tag Archives: Get out the vote

Steve parked in Rose’s space … State of the Race: CLINTON DEPENDING ON “GROUND GAME” FOR VICTORY

Rah, rah, rah, Worcester! Get out and VOTE, THIS TUESDAY, NOV. 8! …(Go, Steve M., go!!!) pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

In the see-saw battle for the American presidency that has raged since the summer of 2016, Hillary Clinton is putting her faith in a well-organized effort to get out the vote, generically dubbed the “ground game” by observers. Clinton has set up a well-oiled machine to knock on doors, make phone calls, and use the Internet to the full extent possible, to turn out another 1% to 2% more voters in the so-called “battleground states.”

Politico.com (we’ve linked to it on this website! check out POLITICO.COM) has posted an excellent story on this subject. The website sent out questionnaires to a sizable group of functionaries from both parties. All the respondents answered anonymously.

“Democratic insiders are most confident in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin,” reported Politico. “They express more uncertainty in Florida and Iowa. Republicans, meanwhile, were split across these early voting states.” Republican insiders said 40% thought the GOP was doing the better job, 31% of the GOP said the Democrats had a better ground game, and 29% of the GOP said neither party’s ground game was superior to the other’s.

55,000 volunteer shifts

The Washington Post reported that Clinton had 55,000 volunteer shifts across the nation this weekend to get 3 million people to register or commit to vote before Election Day. “The Democratic nominee’s campaign is holding more than 1,000 events this weekend in Pennsylvania, 900 in Virginia, 500 in North Carolina, 250 in Ohio and 200 in Wisconsin,” said the Post.

Trump’s failure to set up a strong organization to register and get out to vote his key core constituency – noncollegiate white males – may rank, after his failure to prepare for the debates, as the second worst decision of his campaign. Dave Wasserman, an expert at the Cook Political Report, told the New York Post that 47 million noncollegiate whites, “more than half of them men”, didn’t vote in 2012. Wasserman noted: “There are no indications they are registering for Trump in any real numbers.”

Let’s look at the trends on a state-by-state basis:

North Carolina

During his November 4, 2016, broadcast of the “O’Reilly Factor”, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly conceded to a political panel that if Clinton takes North Carolina, Clinton wins the election.

“Democrats have a plan and are executing it,” one North Carolina Democrat told Politico. “Republicans have no plan and frankly, no clue.”

Not exactly. Trump did start late in organizing his North Carolina infrastructure, but local Republicans have 24 offices across the state, 170 paid staffers, and an additional 700 trained organizers leading thousands of volunteers” the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. “She [Clinton] has 34 offices across the state and has hired hundreds of staffers,” the Journal article reported.

“Polls have long shown a tight race in North Carolina,” continued the Journal. “But a new Elon University survey of likely North Carolina voters shows Mrs. Clinton opening up a lead of 6 percentage points in the state.”


The sunshine state is the mother lode with 29 electoral votes. Trump must win Florida to have a pathway to 270 electoral votes. If Clinton wins Florida, it’s all over.

“Florida insiders in both parties say that, generally, Democrats and Republicans have fought to a draw thus far in early voting,” reports Politico. “One Florida Democrat conceded that Republicans have been stronger than expected. ‘My side did underestimate the GOP’s operation,’ the Democrat said. Among Republicans, the verdict was mixed.”

“’I think the [Clinton] effort is just slightly ahead of the built-in party apparatus Trump has working for him,’ said a Florida Republican to Politico. ‘However, Trump did begin hiring today for field — a little too late, of course — but at least he realizes what he is lacking.’”


Ohio is another “must win” state for Trump. The buckeye state is demographically ripe for Trump: a large noncollegiate white male voting segment, with comparatively fewer minorities than other battleground states, and wracked by the loss of manufacturing jobs during the great recession.

“But Clinton is counting on chipping away at Trump’s lead with a campaign organization that dwarfs the Republican’s operation,” reported Bloomberg Politics in October 2016. “She started building a political infrastructure in the state months earlier than Trump and now counts 64 offices with campaign staff across the state compared, with 31 offices that Trump has jointly with the Republican National Committee and local county party organizations.”

Trump spent less money than Clinton in Ohio on the all-important television buys. “Trump is focusing on building volunteers through rallies and maximizing enthusiasm from television coverage and social media,” said Bloomberg.

During a panel discussion Saturday on MSNBC, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean disputed that Democrats turning out in a largely Democratic county may be good for Clinton, as that county’s working class demographics favored Trump.

More Democrats have participated in early voting than Republicans in Ohio.

“Democrats have technically turned out more, but not to the level they’ll need,” one GOP organizer told Politico. “They’ll lose.”


Colorado, which voted for Obama in the last two elections, is another battle zone.

“The Clinton campaign has been very engaged in building a ground game and turnout operation and have a great deal of existing liberal infrastructure in the state to rely upon,” a Colorado Republican told Politico. “The Trump campaign, in contrast, has almost no ground game, has engaged in very little traditional campaign organizing, has done little direct mail or canvassing efforts, and seems to think a handful of rallies and last-minute television commercials can take the place of the hard work of actually asking individual voters to vote for him, and the state party has done very little to fill the void.”


Another campaign theater Trump needs to hit 270 electoral votes is Nevada.

“Democrats are slightly ahead of Republicans as a percentage of registered voters, but that is very typical for Nevada elections,” commented one Republican to Politico. “More Dems than Republicans vote early, while Republicans tend to prefer voting on Election Day. Also, in Nevada, we have a large percentage of independents and nonpartisan voters, which makes the raw number of Democrats and Republicans voting less predictive of the final results.”


Although this political chaos is enough to leave the head reeling, there is one more state which merits a look: Georgia, the home state of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Five days before the election, it’s probably not a good sign that the Republican nominee has to worry about Georgia,” writes Sean Colarossi on the politicususa.com website. “[T]he NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll conducted totally after the FBI fiasco, the two major candidates are in a virtual dead heat in the state. Trump gets 45 percent of the vote against 44 percent who prefer Clinton.

“With Trump’s operation far worse than Romney’s was four years ago and certainly inferior to Clinton’s, it’s conceivable that the Democratic nominee could outperform the polling by even more,” continued Colarossi. “If the latest poll of the Peach State is accurate, her GOTV [Get out the Vote] operation could be all she needs to steal the deep red state from Trump and put the election away early next Tuesday.”

Trump, with the self-assuredness that has characterized his persona during the entire campaign, scornfully noted the reports he might be in trouble in Georgia, and said at a campaign rally that of course Trump would take Georgia.

The impact

The impact a get out the vote organization can have been noted by Sasha Issenberg, author of “The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Campaigns,” and a consultant to Bloomberg Politics, in comments to the New York Post.

“The evidence we have is there is a big gap on resources and planning between the two sides, favoring Clinton,” said Issenberg. In states where the polls showed the two candidates deadlocked at 45%, asserted Issenberg: “Clinton is best positioned to turn that into 47 percent, while Donald Trump would end up at 44 percent.”

Chris is parked in Yum Yums!

If Jett could vote, he’d vote for Bernie!!!


By Chris Horton

The news came on Wednesday night:  Bernie’s coming to Worcester!  Within hours it was all over social media! For eight months people have been asking me “When is Bernie going to come to Worcester?” and I had to say I didn’t know. 

Now suddenly here he was, on his way, no one could say why, or how we ended up at North High. There were people to call, reporters who I didn’t think knew we existed started calling, other events had to be called off, everyone had to be alerted to suddenly shift gears. 

The actual event was organized by a national Sanders Campaign advance team who descended on Worcester and recruited volunteers with lightning speed, with the help of our new Central Mass Field Organizer Lisa Mosczynski who came on board just last week. Turns out they chose North High after trying everywhere else – but surprisingly it worked out very well, with over 100 volunteers organized on the spot to handle a complex event like clockwork.

The event was scheduled for 5 pm, doors open at 4. It was a cold but bright and sunny at 3pm when we arrived to report for volunteering.  Several hundred people were aready lined up waiting to get in and a dozen volunteers were already at work.

Prominent among the volunteers were a group of red-shirted nurses from the Mass Nurses Association, who arrived with well-known activist Sandy Ellis. They spoke at the pre-meeting about how their union and profession have been hammered over the years and how only Bernie is offering hope of winning a national health insurance plan like Single-Payer/Medicare for All that we desperately need.

I took on working the line, getting people registered and giving them stickers to get in.  And letting them know about the We Want Bernie Worcester event afterwards: “Beers for Bernie” at the Compass Tavern! 

By the time the first people were allowed in a little after 4, the line snaked out all the way to the street, easily several thousand people.  In sharp contrast to the lines at the DCU for Trump last month, there was a good scattering of people of color and Spanish speakers.  The mood was upbeat and festive – while many of us are angry, we didn’t bring our anger to the event.  It was about creating a future we could believe in.

Way out by the street some cars stopped at the entrance and people started shouting “He’s Here!  Bernie’s here!”  I kept working along the line, talking to people, getting the ones the first wave had missed signed up, for maybe 15 minutes, but kept hearing “Bernie’s here!” Finally he came into view, not 10 feet tall, not even 6 feet tall, no Secret Service crew, but this curly-haired slightly-stooped old man working his way along the line with a few staff, shaking everyone’s hand and exchanging a few words with everyone on that line!  Getting old myself as I am, I wondered at how he can find the strength to carry on like this, his second rally of the day, plus by all reports keep up with his many committee assignments in the Senate in Washington.

My own words to him were “Good job, brother!”  I hope the warm glow in my heart as I shook this heroic leader’s hand resonated with him and gave him another ounce of strength.

As it turned out, more than 3,500 people were able to crowd into the building, 1,700 into the gym, and maybe another 300 outside, on little over two days’ notice, at a time when the college students were still away!  The spirit was incredible! 

It was a love-fest; we love this old man who has spent a lifetime speaking and working for us, who is expressing and interpreting our anger, our hopes and dreams, who has declared that we can and will take our country back from the billionaire class and their corrupt servants and agents.  Who declared with passion that we will win in the March 1 Primary and sweep to victory this November, we build a great movement to transform America and put Bernie in the White House to be our voice in Washington!  And how we took courage from him and from each other in that room!

One piece of the story that was not much commented on: Worcester’s State Rep. Mary Keefe, in her first appearance as a Sanders supporter, introduced Bernie (excuse me, Mr. Sanders!) in a rousing and inspiring speech, where she also called on the audience to volunteer for the campaign!

Mary’s own campaigns have been inspiring models of grass-roots activism. This campaign will take the model one step further. Volunteers will be assigned to call and knock on the doors of their own neighbors, and invited to take on the role of Turf Captain in their own town or village, ward, precinct or even micro-neighborood. This is really exciting news! This is a new kind of campaign, laying the foundation of a new – but really very old – kind of politics!  The politics of a “political revolution!”

Berine’s speech touched on so many issues.  This is not a one-issue campaign.  This is a multi-issue campaign.  Job creation. Get big money out of politics. Bring our work home and stop the trade deals that are shipping it overseas. Stop Global Warming.  Racial justice.  Free college education and make the Wall Street speculators pay for it. Criminal justice reform and legalizing marijuana.  Economic equality and the right to join a union. A path to citizenship for the undocumented. Equal pay for women. Raise the minimum wage and guaranteed paid family leave. And many more! Most campaigns hire focus groups to pick one or two key issues to keep hammering on; not this one!  This is the Everything Campaign! 

And it’s working!  Because we are all, whatever our issues, whatever movements we’ve supported, profoundly stuck, unable to gather together the power to win our key demands, faced with a Congress, with state and city governments and programs, that say there is no money, we have to cut, make do with less. 

We’ve all been driven to despair, and we are all in one way or another up against the same ultimate obstacle, the same group of a few thousand billionaires and multi-millionaires who have hijacked our political system, accumulated vast sums of money taken from our work and our taxes, purchased our newspapers, radio and TV networks to use like their private mouthpieces, and are now strangling our economy and driving us to ruin.

And Bernie is calling us all together into one great movement to challenge that “billionaire class” for power and take back the resources we need to make this country work for all of us again!

The spirit of that crowd was so different from Trump’s crowd!  There was anger there, including anger at Trump and the thinly disguised racist lynch mob spirit of his campaign, but there was love too, and no room for hatred! Yes, a Trump heckler would have been booed, but he would not have been in danger.  I sensed that we will stand together when the time comes unafraid.

Near the end of the rally, Bernie shouted out to us:

“Congratulations!  Now you are part of the Political Revolution!”  The crowd shouted out our assent!

I wonder, do the people in that room really understand that there’s a whole world of people out there who have not been seeing Bernie on the nightly news, who don’t know anything about him, who incredibly may not even know his name?  People many of whom are angry, afraid and living lives of desperation, who don’t know where to turn?  People who haven’t voted in years because they don’t see the point and don’t trust that their vote will make a difference?

Do the people shouting agreement to being part of a political revolution get it that we are not going to get those folks’ support, not going to get them to the polls, unless we, each of us, actually step outside of our comfort zone, put aside all the pressing demands of our lives, to organize, go out and find them? Unless we actualy go out and talk to them?

Will they answer the Campaign’s calls to get involved, now, and show up at meetings, phone banks, canvassing events?

“Do you feel the Bern” they were asking each other like it was a chant, and the reply came back “I feel the Bern!”  I am so glad they feel it, so glad we all feel it.  But what does it mean? I don’t know what has been holding most of us back, but now is the moment to get over it and get out there and “Share the Bern” with their neighbors, with people they would normally pass on the street without ever really talking to. 

Now is the time to turn that Bern feeling into a mighty flame that will transform our neighborhoods, towns and cities, transform America, and win us back the future we know is possible but which many of us had come to despair of ever seeing!

March 1 is less than two months away!  If we can win the primaries we can beat Trump in November.  We can do it,  but there ain’t no one gonna do it for us!

From the Worcester NAACP branch

Let’s Get Out The Vote!

This Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’ll be canvassing neighborhoods in the 15th Worcester District, Ward 3, Precinct 4.

 5 pm – 7 pm registering new voters …

… and reminding existing voters to exercise their VOICE and POWER!

This week we’ll be meeting in the Ad Care Hospital parking lot at 104 Lincoln St., at 4:45pm.  

Contact Chuck Jackson, Political Action Co-Chair @ 508.450.5654 or lendingdollars@gmail.com to volunteer.
Let’s It Turn Up, Turn It Out and Get Out The Vote!