Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Not the turn out, but why they turned out


Byron York in the Washington Examiner is watching Republicans run away from Mitt Romney as fast as they can. But what’s really interesting is the point he raises near the end of the article,

{Romney pollster Neil} Newhouse said his polling always showed an “enthusiasm gap” in Romney’s favor throughout the race. “The intensity behind Mitt’s support was very strong, much higher than the Democrats, much higher than Obama’s,” Newhouse said. “But as it turned out on Election Day, in a high-turnout election, what the Democrats did and the Obama campaign did was they turned out even their low-propensity voters, so they ended up washing away whatever intensity or enthusiasm margin we had built up.”

Of course, if Romney really did have more intensity, and Obama still got more voters, then there was something more important than excitement at work on Nov. 6. It might be, for example, that voters, in a nonexcited kind of way, simply believed more deeply in what Obama and the Democrats offered than Romney and the Republicans.

Which means that the GOP’s postelection analysis of Obama’s superior get-out-the-vote operation might be missing a larger point. “With all the focus on turnout operations and all that,” says Vin Weber, “you’ve heard very little discussion about why the Republicans should lead America.”

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