270 Strategies


Shop Talk: The Art of the Door Knock

This issue's shoptalkers: Rob Jesmer, a partner at the Republican firm FP1 Strategies and the former executive director of the NRSC; Emily Post, a political adviser at EMILY's List and the political and field director at the DLCC during the 2012 cycle; Mitch Stewart, founding partner of 270 Strategies and battleground states director on Obama for America in 2012; Phillip Stutts, president of Phillip Stutts & Company and the national 72 Hour/GOTV director for George W. Bush's reelection in 2004.

C&E: Looking back on the 2012 Obama turnout effort—just how precise were you able to be when it came to identifying and targeting your persuadable voters?

Mitch Stewart: We ended up being very precise. The proof point on that is that we continually tracked folks who had voted and measured that up against support scores for each individual so that the models we were using were updated and fresh. When states started reporting early voting numbers immediately on election night, we started seeing the proof of that. In Florida, our model was of by .7 percent. So when you have a state where almost half of the voting population votes before Election Day, it's a pretty good indicator of how we'll end up doing with the rest of the electorate. That was an invaluable resource and tool that we had to make sure that we better allocated resources as the electorate dwindled and we got closer to Election Day.

I think there was a lot of innovation in 2012, both on the Republican and Democratic side, but one of the most important developments was the aggressive nature of early vote. During the primaries on the Democratic side in 2008 we learned to take advantage of early voting. GOTV can't just be a single Tuesday. One of the lessons we learned in 2010 with the enthusiasm gap we saw between Republicans and Democrats was that we were never able to recover from that narrative as Democrats. It was a factual narrative, but we weren't able to recover. So last year we had a concerted effort very early on to make sure that we won early vote immediately, because we hoped it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Full Article: HERE

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