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View Diary: Let's Try to Solve the Turnout Problem (Open Forum) (43 comments)

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  •  Seems to me... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Be Skeptical, HeyMikey

    ...there is one short term motivational aspect to this election - sort of a one-time offer, good for 2014 only - to be exploited among the group of voters I'd call "engaged but unmotivated;" they're informed and aware, "really meant" to vote during the last midterms but somehow "just didn't get to it:"

    "Remember 2010? Happy with the Boehner/Tea Party Congress?"

    That ought to scare anyone into not sitting this year out, but maybe that's just me. Although I don't think so.

    Discontent helped drive tea party (and sympathizers) turnout in '10, and I don't really see Dems reminding those who came out only in '08 and '12 how much they have about which to be discontented. Why they need reminding, I can't imagine, but they seem to.

    •  Min wage, immigration reform.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StevenWells, Be Skeptical, HeyMikey

      I think pushing these could help as well.  They're issues that are on the table, moderates and progressives agree about and are important to a great deal of our base voters.  A raise of almost $3 an hour is serious money for those earning minimum wage.

      •  Oh, absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, HeyMikey

        Those are issues about which Dems can continue to be proactive, which transforms their game to an offensive one, putting (R)s on the defensive.

        And considering the latter have nothing to defend in these areas but obstruction, it doesn't leave 'em with much.  

        •  Learned helplessness, hyperbolic discounting. (0+ / 0-)

          Look'em up on Wikipedia for details. The gist:

          (1) When people's actions don't have clear results, they stop taking any action.

          (2) People react to immediate results, good or bad, rather than results of greater magnitude that are more distant in time from the actions that caused them.

          What this means for turnout: elected officials need to deliver significant action on the electorate's priorities, before the next election, or people will stop turning out.

          E.g., in 2008 people voted for jobs and healthcare. What they got was a stimulus that stopped job loss, but brought about only anemic, agonizingly slow job creation; and healthcare that didn't kick in till 2014. Thus Dem turnout was way down from what it coulda-shoulda been in 2010 and 2012.

          Similar in Clinton's first term: people voted for a tax cut and healthcare reform. Instead they got a tax increase and no healthcare reform. So 1994 was a Dem disaster, ending Clinton's ability to get anything significant done for the rest of his two terms.

          (Note: I think the Clinton tax increase was a good idea. But it was the opposite of what he promised in the '92 campaign. You can't frustrate people's expectations and expect them to keep voting for you. The only reason Clinton did so well in '96 is that, after the GOP took over Congress in '94, they acted like total fools--government shutdown, etc. If your strategy relies on your adversary to behave like a total fool, then you need a new strategy.)

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 03:28:50 PM PDT

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          •  More on the same... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StevenWells

            Contrast the GOP success in 2002--beating the odds by gaining seats, as the party in power, in a midterm election. Why? 9/11 and the Afghan war were major factors, of course. But also: Dubya made tax cuts the center of his 2000 campaign, and as soon as he took office in 2001, he pushed through a major tax cut. He kept his friggin' main campaign promise, promptly. It was a stupid promise, and a bad idea for the country, but he made the damn promise and he kept it, and the voters rewarded his party for it.

            If you want people to respond, you have to associate their action and its results tightly.
             

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 03:47:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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