Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rove and Bush Not Concerned?

I am sure you guys have all seen the article in the WaPo about how Karl Rove and Bush are not too concerned about losing the House or Senate majorities. Rove believes we will lose like 8-10 House seats (thereby preserving the majority) and he does not think the GOP will lose all 7 competitive Senate races (thereby preserving the Senate majority).

The two things being cited for this feeling is the huge money advantage the GOP enjoys ($55 million to be exact) as well as the believed superior GOP GOTV operation.
Some would argue that money won't help the GOP b/c so much is due to the huge electoral disadvantage they face. Even so, the thing to remember is that largely the battle for the Senate and House reside in red states and districts.

Think about the Senate. The main battles are VA, NJ, OH, TN, and MO (RI, MT and PA are probably done for). 4 of those 5 are red states, giving the GOP a chance to reach out to their base. Its not like they are in states where they need to get large crossover votes, they just need the base.

Next comes the House. According to Larry Sabato, of the 50 competitive seats; 30 are in red states compared to 20 in blue states. Even more so than that, many of the blue state seats were won by Bush in 2004. Same theory applies here, they only need GOPs, not as much crossover.

The best thing money can do is reinforce your own voters. Certainly media can be effective in picking up swing voters, but its most effective when trying to convince your base to get out there and vote. The fact that the GOP has a huge money advantage and is fighting most battles in friendly territory, things may not turn out as bad as people think (at least I think that's how Rove & Co. view it).

GOTV is another advantage for the GOP in that they typically have a more localized team compared to the dems who do more out-of-state people. With battles all over the map this year, it will be tough for the dems to ship people from one state to another since they will need them at home. Another thing is that since a large number of the races are in GOP friendly territory, the GOP GOTV effort can focus on just general turnout increases, whereas the dems will need a targeted effort at their voters only. The big question in this area is how fired up the GOP base is as we near election day.

Just some food for thought, you guys are free to rip my analysis now.


  • At 10/16/2006 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Remember last year with Jerry, we had all those young RNC people in Virginia and at the last week the RNC brought in a heck of a lot of college students from all over the place. I guess we will not have that benifit again this year. And that worries me, since not many people from my local committee come to our phone banks. I fear they are expecting what happened last year to happen again, but it just isn't going to. I hope some people realize this and are trying to do more for George and Eric, I know I am!!

  • At 10/16/2006 9:07 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Anon, GOTV won't help you overcome a 5-10 pt deficit.
    Also, the dems will have the same problem with out-of-staters, so it will probably all equal out.

  • At 10/16/2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous brimur said…

    This is a completely legitimate point. The 72-hour campaign has been very good to the Bush Republican party. Democrats have screwed up with GOTV recently by relying too heavily on paid operatives instead of a volunteer operation. Of course Republicans can afford to take time off of work to volunteer.

    I'd prefer Dems take back the house and NOT take back the Senate. I'd like to see the Senate split so that we get some moderate legislation and then we have President and House as counterweights. Divided gov't is so much better.

  • At 10/16/2006 6:32 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    brimur, its funny you say that since many dem operatives are actually union workers who are given time off to campaign; but anyway.
    The paid operatives aren't the problem, so much of where to put them. In the past, the dems had such huge seat advantages in the House, Senate, state legislatures, etc that they could send their entire workforce to a handful of races and almost guarantee victory. Now the problem they face is with so many competitive races, they are spread thin.
    Not to mention the unions aren't nearly as dependable as in the past.

  • At 10/16/2006 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...like home school children brought in to man the phone banks and right wing "only concerned about social issue" fanatics. That is the backbone of the "72 hour plan".

    Those groups are pushing out true conservatives (see limited government.)

  • At 10/16/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    9:02, certainly that is a large group of the GOP volunteers.
    Thats part of the fracture in the party right now (since they will only work for socially conservative candidates).


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