You and I know the nuances behind last night's debate. You and I know that Romney lied repeatedly, while the President kept his cool and spoke truth. You and I know that the facts are on our side, but I am scared about what I saw at the debate.
You see, this debate wasn't about us at all. Romney's plan to lie and lie aggressively went well, and the group of voters that we have not been able to reach will eat it up. I'm not going to talk about woulda/shoulda/coulda for something that we can't go back and fix, but I'm afraid that because of last we will need to fight harder to counter the group that Romney won last night.
The debate wasn't about us at all. It was about a group that we are bad at recruiting. A group that only watches Presidential debates and 2 minutes of news at a time. A group that lives in Tweets and is "too busy" to follow politics. A group that, for the majority, doesn't care enough to get the facts...
I'm talking about the people who are watching "Honey Boo Boo" and NASCAR, tune in to "professional" wrestling, and get their information from shorts bursts of news. Rednecks, or as the PC crowd likes to say, "low information voters."
These are the people that Romney won last night.
We're not a party that caters to "low information voters." We're the party that people with half-a-brain come to once they realize that all of the facts are on our side. We win when people realize that nearly everything that comes out of a Republican's mouth is a lie, that Bush took more vacation days than Obama, that under Democratic Presidents we created way more jobs than under any Republicans, that the last two times we left a Republican in the White House we had recessions to go with them. We win when people realize that having 2,300 nuclear weapons is more than enough, and that we don't need to waste the amount of money that we do to go kill Muslims halfway across the world. We win when people know that our plans actually make sense in a basic math sort of way, compared to the voodoo arithmetic of Republican plans.
BUT, and this is a big BUT, low-information voters don't know this stuff. They aren't going to hit the internet and fact-check anything that Romney said. All they will see is one guy being aggressive and having answers that sound good taken at face value (if they weren't lies) vs. a guy who spoke too slowly, too softly, etc. Do you think it matters how many fact checkers denounce Romney's performance to these people? They will not see or read fact checks
These people are an anomaly. I think they're irresponsible at best for being so uninformed, but they have numbers. There are a LOT of low-information voters out there. We can't ignore them, or they WILL hand Romney/Gordon Gekko the election.
Now we might have some help from the newspapers and other traditional media in the next few days, but I'm not putting all of my eggs in that basket. Papers are biased, Clear Channel media is definitely biased (Bain Capital owns them,) and the TV networks are going to push whatever gets them viewers. That may or may not be a scathing take down of Romney's statements. Bottom line: I can't trust the media to do our work for us when their goal (make $) differs from ours (win.)
Here's my plan: Lets build that email chain that I talked about in my last diary. Lets keep the "Romney wants to kill PBS" meme strong on Facebook & Twitter. I'm still glad to provide free programming consulting on a jQuery Mobile "Talking Points" website. Just PM me and lets get started! I've already created a talking-points list for my local OFA office to use when canvassing.
We need to work on convincing people who say they will not vote to vote. Tell them the consequences of a Romney presidency. Tell them that Big Bird would be fired (killing jobs) to save only .00014% of the federal budget. Tell them that we'll get them to the polls. Tell them that it is unacceptable that millions of brave men and women have DIED for this right that they are now choosing to ignore. We need these people to get out of their stupor, realize how important this election is, and actually cast a ballot.
We need a good plan to reach low-information voters. Please offer ideas in the comments. Maybe some theatrics would be useful here? TV ads may help, but we also live in the age of DVRs... Remember that these people are not going to be easily reached. The trick is to find out HOW to get through to them with a few core ideas that will lead them to the truth, or maybe whet their curiosity enough to start researching (aka becoming a Democrat.)