Politics & Policy

Enthusiasm Gap Back With a Vengeance

Rumors of a repeat of the 2006/2008 ground game by Democrats have been greatly exaggerated, according to this story by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Enquirer reports that:

he Democratic National Committee said it will spend at least $50 million to get first-time 2008 voters and others not accustomed to voting in non-presidential elections back to the polls in ‘10. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told reporters Thursday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was spending $20 million and employing 725 field organizers in congressional campaigns around the country.

But it may not be enough to stave off big losses on Nov. 2.

“The worst place to be on Election Day is between a Republican and the ballot box,” said Guy Harrison, executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And let’s add the independents to that as well.”[…]

But on the ground, the enthusiasm of 2008 often is trepidation this year, and the sales job is tougher.

“Everybody had a clear idea of where things were going” in 2008, said Brenda Barton, one of two union organizers going door-to-door in a blue-collar Columbus neighborhood earlier this week. “Now, they’re not so sure.”

Some Democrats are worried that, by focusing on turnout of their most loyal voters, they are turning off independent voters necessary to win elections. A Quinnipiac University released Tuesday noted that 35 percent of independents in Ohio said they would be less likely to vote for Strickland if Obama campaigned for him, while only 4 percent would be more likely to cast ballots for him. Obama has been in the state 11 times since being elected, including at an Ohio State rally last Sunday that attracted 35,000 people.

Days after that rally, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made a video imploring volunteers to replicate 2008.

And over at Third Base Politics, Jon Keeling has scary information for Democrats regarding absentee ballot numbers. This is a bad year to be a Democrat in Ohio. A really bad year.

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