The Campaign Spot

If You Can Motivate Republicans in Uncompetitive States . . .

Back on October 26, I wrote that barring some change, Mitt Romney would win the popular vote. Of course, that was one hurricane/super-storm Sandy ago.

One of the criteria I cited for that assertion was Romney polling better than McCain in both deep-blue states and deep-red states. No one really expects states like California, Connecticut, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to perform any differently than they usually do, but in each of these states, trends like this put Romney closer to a national popular-vote victory. Of course, as Al Gore can tell you, that kind of victory gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks — as long as you have a few dollars on you.

A reader in Oklahoma reports:

Here in Oklahoma, where Obama failed to carry a single county in 2008, and where the few polls anyone has bothered with indicate he will have a hard time breaking 33% this year, you would think that voters would be in taking it for granted mode. Other than the presidential race, there is not much on the statewide ballot to draw people to the polls — no U.S. Senate race, no race for any statewide office, with the only really contested race in the second Congressional district, where Mark Wayne Mullin is likely to pick up retiring Democrat Dan Boren’s seat. Democrats are so dispirited here that they failed to even field candidates for two offices on the state Corporation Commission this year, and the GOP is sure to hold and expand its lopsided legislative majorities. So there doesn’t seem to be anything likely to drive a high turnout. Yet the state election board at midday reported turnout as high or higher than in 2008. I waited in line for 90 minutes at my Oklahoma City precinct and was number 777 to vote at 1 p.m., with more coming in all the time. The crowd looked very Republican, as is the neighborhood — white, middle aged and up. Romney backers here know he will carry Oklahoma with one of the highest percentages in the nation, but they are still turning out in big numbers to be part of it.


Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax says heavy voter turnout is being reported statewide and voters are reporting waits of an hour to an hour.5 to cast their ballots. Polls are open until at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the general election and Ziriax says long lines were being reported at precincts statewide as voters waited to cast their ballots. Ziriax said no technical problems have been reported. He said the turnout is “on track” to be the largest since the last presidential election in 2008 when about 67% of voters cast ballots.

If you can motivate Republicans to turn out in non-competitive states, you ought to be able to motivate Republicans to turn out in competitive states, no?

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