72 Hours Is So 5 Years Ago
If you haven’t started your GOTV push, you’re already late…
By Erin McPike, Politics Magazine
When it comes to getting out the vote, 72 hours just doesn’t cut it anymore. Five years ago, the GOP’s meticulous 72-hour program was cited again and again, particularly in Ohio, as a driver behind the party’s success in what strategists say was largely a base election. Now, as campaign strategists prepare for a volatile midterm cycle, they say there’s really no such thing as a 72-hour program anymore.
For one thing, early and absentee voting in most states have changed turnout models, so the ﬁnal 72-hour push might be too little, too late. According to Rich Beeson, a partner in the Republican voter contact ﬁrm FLS Connect and a former political director at the Republican National Committee, “It’s 720 hours now.” In order to have an impact, organizing professionals in both parties stress that ﬁeld programs for the 2010 elections must begin earlier than ever before—and plenty of them have already begun more than a year from Election Day.
National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Rob Jesmer says “classic GOTV” has gone from a weeklong to a yearlong process. His committee started working with the Republican National Committee and state parties in September to begin their 2010 ﬁeld plans, which consist of gathering information from voters well into next March and messaging based on that information beginning in mid- to late-summer before moving into turnout.
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