Dear Consultants: In Close Elections, GOTV Matters

I’ve written often about the incompetence of political consultants and the candidates who hire them. How can a national campaign fail to do proper GOTV in 2012? It’s truly stunning and just one more example, unfortunately, that my analysis of the problem has been correct. We have a serious personnel problem, and if we don’t fix that, we can’t win. If we do, we will.

Oh, and I’ve been a critic of the fantasy of micro-targeting being a cure-all for many years:

How to win the 8th Congressional District (From April 2008!)

Political consultants continue to doom the Republican Party  (From April 2008!)


Judging by the current vote totals, Romney’s nationwide operation fell far short of McCain’s in 2008. In fact, Romney currently trails McCain by around 2 million votes. 2 million! That number is mind-boggling. How did the Republican candidate facing the worst president in modern history manage to get 2 million fewer votes than in 2008? Granted, that number may narrow a bit as more votes are counted, but it’s astonishing that Romney’s votes are even in the neighborhood of McCain’s.

The answer is pretty simple: the Republican party establishment’s micro-targeting of voters, from surveying voters to a get-out-the-vote, or GOTV, operation — if you can even call it an operation — was a joke. Take Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, for example. Had Romney won those states, he would be celebrating victory today. The media would have you believe that he was trounced there. That’s not the case.

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