But, more importantly, Obama played the GOTV Card here. The political junkies on both sides are now nodding: everybody else, watch this video and it’ll be discussed in just a bit.
Said discussion after the fold:
Calculating the trajectory of DOOM in a campaign is a tricky thing, but one of the classic signs of a campaign in trouble is the classic call for GOTV, or Getting Out The Vote. To put it very simply: while turnout is of course of vital importance to winning elections, explicitly basing your victory strategy around it – like the way that the President did, above – is a sign of a campaign expecting to lose. Winning campaigns don’t need to tell their supporters to go out and vote. They’ve already worked that out for themselves. It’s the campaign whose supporters know that they’re losing who have to be exhorted to go out to the polls, even if their candidate isn’t going to win*.
I’m not going to declare DOOM on the Democrats’ attempt to keep the House just quite yet: it’s still six months before the election. But seeing the Democrats being already publicly worried about generating voter enthusiasm six months before the election is… encouraging. And amusing.
*If you’re wondering why losing campaigns bother with GOTV efforts when they know it’s futile, it’s because there’s a difference between a loss and a rout. For example, the NJ elections last year were a loss for the Democrats. The VA elections were a rout, and the primary reason why it was a rout was because Virginia Democrats visibly just… gave up three or so weeks before the election. If they had kept swinging like New Jersey Democrats had – including GOTV entreaties – they still would have lost the gubernatorial race and (possibly) all of the other statewide seats, but they would have staunched the bleeding a little in the state legislature. In other words, down-ticket races benefit from at least keeping the base motivated to go to the polls, even if the marquee races don’t.
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