Recent reporting reveals the obvious strategy Obama needs to win reelection: get more of his "traditional base" voters to the polls.
Exit polls showed that Obama won 43 percent of the white vote in 2008 — in the typical range for a Democrat — but Gallup shows that his approval rating among whites now stands at less than a third.
Ultimately, the Obama strategy for reaching independents will depend largely on whom the GOP nominates; polls suggest a variation in how the different Republican candidates might perform with that group.
Still, the formula for Obama comes down to this: convincing enough additional minorities and core liberals to turn out and vote next year to make up for a loss of support from centrist and conservative whites.
I am far less interested in which of the current Republican contenders for the Republican nomination for the presidency utlimately wins the nomination than whether we Republicans will significantly increase the percentage of registered Republicans, and otherwise Republican-leaning voters, who will actually vote for our nominee in the 2012 election. Which brings me to the fun with Voter Vault.
Friday I decided to do some analysis of my precinct using the Republican Party's Voter Vault system. How does one get access to the Voter Vault system? Well, unless you are a candidate for public office, a volunteer for a candidate, or a Republican Party staffer, you have to become a voting member of the Party. Here in Arizona, that means becoming an elected precinct committeeman. Voter Vault is an online system that allows one to create walking lists and telephone calling lists for all the registered voters in one's precinct. You have to sign an agreement that you will only use it for non-commercial political purposes.
In my precinct, we have 895 registered Republicans and 8 PC slots, with all 8 filled. By doing some very basic filtering of the voter records of the voters in my precinct, I was able to determine the following regarding the Republican voters.
Of the 895 Republican voters, 329, or 36.7%, are "perfect voters;" they voted in the last 2 primaries and last 2 general elections.
66 of the total, 7.3%, were "zeroes;" they did not vote at all in the last four elections.
113 of the total, 12.6%, were "1 in fours;" they only voted once in the last four elections.
121 of the total, 13.5%, were "2 in fours;" they only voted twice in the last four elections.
That's a total of 300, or 33.5%, of the whole who are, shall we say, less than stellar Republicans in terms of casting a vote despite the fact that some Americans fought for, and fought and died for, the right of these Republicans to elect those who are to represent them in the halls of government.
And, we have 20 brand new registered voters who are newly registered in our precinct.
So, the 8 of us have 320 Republican voters we need to go out and "touch" somehow. That's just 40 a piece. We figure we don't need to "touch" (by touch, I mean call, visit, leave literature at their door, etc.) the Perfect Voters and those who voted 3 out of 4 times -- these are the Republicans who will most probably vote again with no prodding. But we PCs will need to reach out to the others and make sure they vote this time.
Just 40 a piece. A cake walk. A few hours of time.
Each PC can do what they want in terms of contacting the voters about whom to vote for in Arizona's closed presidential preference primary, because we do not work for the Party -- no one can tell a PC for whom they must get out the vote ("GOTV"). In the Tempe mayoral and city council elections in the spring, we'll work together to help GOTV for the Republicans in those races. Right now, we are just beginning to go door-to-door for these candidates to obtain nominating petition signatures. If each of us spend just a few hours going door-to-door to the Perfect Voters (who are most likely to sign the petitions), we'll help these candidates gain ballot access and also get to know better those Perfect Voter Republicans in our precinct -- who might make good PCs in the future or Party volunteers, such as poll watchers. We might even find among them future precinct committeemen -- we'll certainly let them know about our Legislative District Committee's monthly meetings and invite them to attend.
Now, imagine if we could get this kind of targeted GOTV activity in EVERY precinct in America. We could. If we got conservatives to fill up every vacant precinct committeeman slot. About half of the slots are vacant, on average, in every precinct in America. And about one-third of the precincts have ZERO precinct committeeman. One our our counties here in Arizona has no Republican organization at all. None. So who is helping to GOTV in that county? Well, it's not the county's Republican Party committee. Because there is none.
Again, I'm less concerned about whom our nominee will be, and more concerned about making sure, in the 2012 general election, we get every possible Republican to the polls for our nominee and the other Republican candidates. I'm not willing to put my hope in some charismatic Republican presidential nominee who will inspire every Republican and Republican-leaning registered voter to actually vote. So I became a precinct committeeman and encourage others to do the same. So we can, together, help maximize the voter turnout in our respective precincts for our Republican candidates.
If we do that, we can run the board against the leftists and their Democrat Party candidates.
I will be presenting these findings to my fellow PCs in my precinct and then get them on board to carry out this plan.
We have some great tools now to connect like-minded conservatives. FreedomWorks has created the FreedomConnector, for example.
American Majority Action has created the Precinct Project.
Before the 2010 general election, The Concord Project was created to provide video tutorials and other information about how to GOTV.
Will we conservatives do a better job at getting out the vote than will Obama and his minions? How many of us will be GOTV heroes? Time will tell.
As you may have heard, Obama is asking some in his core constituencies to "take off your bedroom slippers -- put on your marching shoes." (A thirty second ad may play before you get to see the CNN video.)
(By the way, there's much in the last segment of this video that could be used for a parody of Obama, juxtaposing video clips of his remarks about the need to press on and marching, etc., with video clips of his golfing excursions. Hint, hint. ;-) )
Will YOU help make 2011 "The Year of the Precinct Committeeman?"