Archive for Sunday, September 7, 2008

Democrats, Republicans vary on voter registration strategy

September 7, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

— Five days a week, Linda Graham trolls tattered neighborhoods of this once thriving steel city outside Pittsburgh for unregistered voters she can sign up as Democrats - one of thousands of unknown volunteers whose work outside the limelight has already altered the basic arithmetic of the November election.

The epic nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton helped put millions more Democrats on the voter rolls while Republican registration declined. Now Graham, 45, has taken three months of unpaid leave from her job at Pittsburgh's Central Blood Bank in the hope of adding to those gains before the presidential vote.

To counter this effort, the Republicans are counting on a formidable, high-tech get-out-the-vote operation that has helped them win the past two presidential elections.

Since the last federal election in 2006, volunteers like Graham combined with the enthusiasm generated by the Obama-Clinton struggle to add more than 2 million Democrats to voter rolls in the 28 states that register voters according to party affiliation. The Republicans have lost nearly 344,000 thousand voters in the same states.

The Democrats hope their voter registration efforts can boost Obama to victory in competitive states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida and perhaps give him a shot at winning traditional Republican states like Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Both Obama and his Republican rival, John McCain, are fighting for independent swing voters, and many of the new Democrats had been unaffiliated voters.

The number of unaffiliated voters dropped by nearly 900,000 since 2006. Many joined the Democratic Party to take part in the primaries and caucuses, and now they will now be targeted by an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

"We feel that our supporters are more enthusiastic than we've seen in previous cycles," said Jon Carson, Obama's national field director.

The Obama campaign is taking the lead among the party organizations and labor unions that traditionally work on voter registration efforts.

Because party organizations and unions, like the Service Employees International Union to which Graham belongs, can raise unrestricted amounts of money, presidential campaigns typically rely on them to handle the bulk of voter registration drives, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said in an interview.

"This is the first campaign I've seen where the voter registration is done by the campaign," Dean said.

The Republicans are relying on a more traditional voter registration model, with the Republican National Committee leading the effort among state parties.

"We hope that the hard work we've done in the past will provide us with a strategic advantage," said Mike DuHaime, McCain's political director. "We will have the most technologically advanced ground operation ever."

DuHaime said the RNC is working with the state parties to register voters in every battleground state. He said there is extra emphasis on the fast-growing ones, including Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and North Carolina.

Nationwide, there are about 42 million registered Democrats and about 31 million Republicans, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.


Confrontation 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm going to help a large group of people get registered next weekend. They have never voted before, but the current state of the nation has them worried and incredibly frustrated. They live in a county where they are expected to vote Repub because that's what gun-toting, religious folk do. Now, they're stepping up and making the smarter decision. I can't wait to pass out the Obama yard signs!

Robert Marble 9 years, 7 months ago

"Sept. 7) - John McCain has overtaken Barack Obama in the Gallup daily tracking poll and has his highest level of support in that poll since early May.McCain leads Obama 48 percent to 45 percent among registered voters, by Gallup's measure. McCain has so far earned the same convention bounce as Obama, though at a more rapid pace."......bye bye hussein

Flap Doodle 9 years, 7 months ago

Google: ACORN criminalSee what voter registration means to some people.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 7 months ago

WQe are going to have MASSIVE voter fraud with ilelgal aliens registered to vote, and the rest of the stuff that ACORN pulls as well.ACORN is a Democratic Party Supporter and enabler that is corrupt.

whenindoubt02 9 years, 7 months ago

hello, did anyone proofread this??Republicans have lost nearly 344,000 thousand voters in the same states....that means 344 MILLION voters!!the Democrats HAVE to win!! haha

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

BTW, despite all the hysteria over ACORN's voter registration drives, there is no evidence that the fraudulent registrations were anything but the actions of a few individuals. ACORN turned in the registrations, because they were required by law to do so, but flagged them to election officials so they could be dealt with appropriately-- which includes prosecution of those who submitted the registrations. There is also no indication that there was any fraudulent voting as a result. This is in stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of eligible voters that the Rovian RNC has prevented from voting because they might vote the "wrong" way.

BigPrune 9 years, 7 months ago

From Investors Business Daily 8/6/08:In 1995, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar balked at implementing the federal motor voter law out of concern that letting people register via postcard and blocking the state from pruning voter rolls might invite vote fraud.A young lawyer, a community organizer himself, sued on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn) and won. The young lawyer was Barack Obama. Acorn later invited Obama to train its staff.When Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago with Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, the Woods Fund frequently gave Acorn grants to fund its agenda and voter registration activities.Acorn has been in the lead in opposing voter ID laws and other efforts to ensure ballot integrity. Acorn has been implicated in voter fraud and bogus registration schemes in Ohio and at least 13 other states. Acorn staffers will presumably be out registering voters again this year.Obama also opposes voter ID laws. He believes they disenfranchise voters. Last year, Obama put a hold on the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky for a seat on the Federal Election Commission. It seems von Spakovsky, as an official in the Justice Department, had supported a Georgia photo ID law. Acorn espouses the leftist view that voter ID laws are racist.In addition to subverting American democracy to promote a leftist agenda, Acorn's radical agenda amounts to "undisguised authoritarian socialism." wrote Sol Stern in the 2003 City Journal article, "Acorn's Nutty Regime for Cities.":.:..then there's the Living Wage Law they support, hmmmmThe AP 9/6/08: Democrats post big gains in voter registrationIt all sounds so similar, doesn't it?When JFK was running for office, it turned out a whole bunch of dead people in Chicago voted for him that year.Chicago politics go national perhaps?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

If the past few elections are any indication, the Republicans will put as much effort into keeping Democrats from voting as they do registering Republicans.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, we might just as well cancel the election, right, Robert?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"As a Republican, a life member of the NRA, a retired Teamster and now an owner of a small business I can only speak for myself."I wasn't talking about you-- I was talking about the Rovian RNC tactics of challenging the registration of any voter who would be a likely Democratic voter. If you are unaware of these tactics, perhaps you should spend more time educating yourself about the misdeeds of your party rather than whining about my "rantings."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"I'm not the angry one here. "If you're not angry, then you either aren't paying attention, or you agree with the notion (and the tactics that enforce it) that those who might vote the "wrong" way should be prevented from voting.Enjoy your smiley-face world.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 7 months ago

Remember what they say in Chicago, vote early & often.

Robert Marble 9 years, 7 months ago

what, and ruin another chance for hussein to supporters to commit more vandalism / riots/ assaults like they did at the rnc?

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