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I've just read a piece by the reliably smart Susan Page that's making me batty.

Why 90 million Americans won't vote in November

A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren't likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama's re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives.

Even so, they cite a range of reasons for declaring they won't vote or saying the odds are no better than 50-50 that they will: They're too busy. They aren't excited about either candidate. Their vote doesn't really matter. And nothing ever gets done, anyway.

Ninety million. More than a quarter of the country.

And these aren't people who don't care, or can't vote, or don't really have a preference.

They just won't.

If they would, we would see a landslide of near-Johnson-Goldwater proportions, along with a reshaping of Congress that would affect policy for generations. But they won't. Or so they say now.

We, the president, the party, those of us who actually care about the policies that affect us all, have simply got to find a way to reach these people, to convince them that their participation does matter, that their disappointment in the president's performance thus far has been the direct result of a divided, obstructionist Congress.

I don't know how to do this. I'm sure that the president's team is trying everything they can think of, but I don't know if they know, either.

But if there were ever a problem that called for the power of crowd-sourced thinking, I'd say this is it: how do you convince these people their vote matters and can change their lives for the better?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Start By Listening to the Whiney Purity Trolls (11+ / 0-)

    who also say enough isn't being done to motivate voters.

    There have been voices within the party for 45 years pointing out this problem. Many were vocal about this in 2009-10 before our shellacking. That's not to say that they have all the best ideas for how to solve it, but it's time to bring them back into the adult conversation.

    Some of the problem is messaging/gotv and we can almost certainly make some headway on that for this election. As for policy, that's a subject for Nov. 7th.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:31:25 AM PDT

  •  I know a lot of these people (12+ / 0-)

    Almost all of them are left-leaning and are not any less informed than people who vote regularly. What they all seem to have in common is the feeling that their vote doesn't matter. I confess to feeling this way sometimes but I always make myself vote regardless.

    The trad med's repeated mantra of "both sides do it"  goes a long way in explaining this lack of participation in the electoral process among people who think the Republican suck but that the Democrats aren't any better. I'm sure this is by design.

    The GOP's wildly successful voter suppression efforts also helps feed into the creation of a large cohort of non-voting left-leaners. If they're not going to count your vote or even let you pretend to vote at all, the rationale goes, why bother participating in their little charade?

    •  The ones I know want to isolate themselves (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, beltane, emidesu, Crashing Vor, SuWho

      from the outcome.  If they do not vote, they are not responsible for the outcome of the election and can say "I didn't vote for this".  As much as you might like him, George Carlin didn't do anyone any favors with this one:


      The problem is - voting isn't the end of political participation, it is the beginning.  The "I'll sit this out" crowd doesn't understand or accept this.  They think they can tune out 364 days per year, vote on that one day, then tune out again and everything should be hunky-dory.  Nothing in life works that way.

      and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

      by ban48 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:10:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know 90 milllion (3+ / 0-)

      ...left-leaning Democrats?  Or are you making a broad assumption?

      The total vote for Obama in 2008 was 67 million.

      I would be very surprised if there were 90 million left-leaning anything, even telephone poles.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:29:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if votes didn't matter; they wuldn't be suppressed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, Sue B

      GOP fears the "wrong kind" of voters.  Look at OH, PA, IN, WI (anywhere with both GOP Gov & State House)... if your vote didn't matter, they wouldn't try to legislate a bunch of hurdles to cast it.  In fact a progressive voting block would create the separate funding necessary for online (secure) voting (for the well-off-enough) AND extended hour voting before/after work and on weekends AND enough machines/paper ballots for each precinct.

      "Chicago-style" (or machine politics) grew from a response to similar Gilded Age-style voter suppression from the moneyed elites (poll taxes, restricted areas/hours, limited ballots).  

      We are the "right kind" of voters - I think the best we could do is massive car pooling before/on election day AND localized YouTubes for voter information (i.e. not just president, or Congress, but local seats and referendum).

      It's why I love unions...

      bonzo goes to bitburg should be required listening...

      by decitect on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:53:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I run into these folks when doorknocking. (15+ / 0-)

    Some are registered but don't vote.  Others don't register at all. I tell them that in the last election one of the state senate races was decided by seven votes. I got one to register and file a vote by mail app with that argument.  One.  

  •  Frankly, we need to scare the living daylights (12+ / 0-)

    out of them for what a Romney/Ryan presidency would do to the country.

    President Obama is taking the blame for our economic doldrums when he should be getting credit for preventing the second great depression.

    Just like Bush always said "9/11 changed everything" we should have early on and regularly said "9/15 changed everything." (Lehman)

    Although the recession started in 2007, the real severity of the crisis didn't hit until so late in the Bush presidency that its impact occurred almost all in the Obama presidency.

    The public doesn't realize how bad it could have gotten if republicans had stayed in power. And how bad it can still get if they return.

    The republican House has already managed to screw up the recovery.  A repub presidency will push us into full-scale disaster.

    Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

    by Happy Days on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:36:28 AM PDT

    •  You just contradicted your own .sig (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wisper, banjolele, Crashing Vor

      No, we don't need to scare people into voting. We need to show them how to join a movement that is far bigger than themselves, and become effective in politics. After that, voting is just the necessary icing on the cake.

      Ask such people what would be effective, and then ask whether they would volunteer to do that. Offer to connect them with OFA or an appropriate issue organization.

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:19:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This. Over and over again, THIS. (4+ / 0-)

        Fear is a weak motivator with diminishing returns.

        Read that article (and others like it) and you'll see examples of plenty of people that say its PRECISELY the incessant fear-mongering and negative ads that cause them to tune out of the process altogether.

        These are people that don't think they want to be part of this.  Yelling at them with scary negatives aren't going to change that. At all.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:39:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can't imagine not voting. (8+ / 0-)

    But for the ever-increasing number of disenfranchised Americans, their reasoning is, "What's the point?"

    And even if their position is incorrect, I'm not sure I can blame them.

    As a people, we've been lied to consistently since the Vietnam era. And the George W. Bush years? One of his administration's main objectives was to "prove" how ineffective government is by purposely kneecapping it every step of the way. To wit: Katrina.

    And now we have President Obama, who, by and large, has given us change we can believe in and should be, in an ideal world, rewarded with an easy re-election victory come November.

    But many people don't see it or are blinded by a barrage of hate-filled nonsense from Fox and Rush and all the other clowns.

    Or maybe these folks have just been beaten down too many times and in too many different ways to think their vote matters.

    I do have faith, though, that Plouffe, Axelrod, Gibbs, and the gang will reach enough of these folks to tip the balance our way in November.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:39:33 AM PDT

    •  Blame is not the point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, Crashing Vor, Sue B

      Community is the point. It is not just their fault if they haven't found it in today's toxic political and social environment. We have to go out of our way to invite them.

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:21:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hear that a lot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, Crashing Vor

      Vietnam.. Watergate, etc. Ever since then America has become disillusioned.

      What was the voter turnout rates in WWII?  During the New Deal?  During the Depression, etc?

      Was it really the 1960's & 70's that eviscerated the nation's sense of civic duty?

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:41:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor
      And now we have President Obama, who, by and large, has given us change we can believe in and should be, in an ideal world, rewarded with an easy re-election victory come November.

      But many people don't see it or are blinded by a barrage of hate-filled nonsense from Fox and Rush and all the other clowns.

      Don't be too quick to say this type of thing, for it antagonizes those who "don't see it" and is quite possibly very, very incorrect. There is much that has not changed or changed but immaterially, and those you say "don't see it" are simply looking at a broader, more complete, picture or looking with a different emphasis and set of core values.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:55:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  young women should promise to withhold sex (5+ / 0-)

    There should be a national social-media campaign: "No hotness for YOU, unless you vote." For the under-25 voters I really don't see how we get the job done without tying 'hotness' into this somehow. You go into November with the flock of horny youngsters that you have, not the flock of horny (and social-media saturated) youngsters that you want.

    As for 25-50, I'd think the Ryan budget lets us tie one vote into being potentially worth thousands of dollars. "Would you get off your ass and do something inconvenient for one day for thousands of dollars?"

    For over 50 the idea should be that people who can't be motivated to vote just don't care about kids or the future.

    •  The Lysistrata strategy was originally a joke (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      by Aristophanes. To my knowledge, it has only been applied successfully once, in Liberia, to stop their most recent civil war.

      I would argue with these non-voters that they argue like Republicans, that they have bought into cowardly Republican memes aimed at voter suppression in support of their racism, bigotry, and overweening greed, and that our side needs to stand up against this bullying. I could get more inflammatory if needed. ^_^ Fire them up! Get them ready to go!

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:28:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  meh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor
      For over 50 the idea should be that people who can't be motivated to vote just don't care about kids or the future.

      That is a demographic that has proven itself pretty resistant to the whole guilt schtick, "tacit consent" would be a better argument, IMHO.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:31:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  not knowing how is part of it too- (9+ / 0-)

    i volunteered for chris donovan as a checker in a polling place in ct-05 yesterday

    after trying several times to fill out the ballot sheet, and getting two replacements, a woman abandoned her ballot and left without voting. poll workers found the abandoned after the worker walked out.

    it can be intimidating, and i think a lot of people are just anxious about coming out to vote because they are afraid of a system and process they no nothing about.

    i'd like to see psa's on how to register to vote, how to find your polling place, and how to cast a ballot 101. yes, alot of us will think it's ridiculous to overstate and overdemonstrate the obvious, but for a lot of people, none of this is obvious.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:41:51 AM PDT

    •  Much of what you are wishing for is on the OFA (5+ / 0-)

      site, For the rest, we have to undo No Child's Behind Left and get Civics classes back into the schools. Then we need to write OER Civics textbooks that explain

      1. How government is supposed to work
      2. How it does work, or fail to
      3. What you can do about that

      Actually, Part 3 already exists, in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

      OER=Open Educational Resources under Creative Commons licenses

      We could even think about Free/Open Source voting software into the schools, so students can practice on it, and learn how to administer it correctly.

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:35:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make Election Day (16+ / 0-)

    a National Holiday.

    Some other countries do.

    Of course it will take Democratic majorities in Congress to do so.

    And of course there will be screeches of what it will cost businesses.

    But this is one way to promote Democracy.

    ...someday - the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it. --Steinbeck

    by Seldom Seen on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:55:51 AM PDT

  •  The only thing I never liked about (5+ / 0-)

    George Carlin was his attitude regarding voting and the "same shit different piles" attitude that leads people to believe they're above the fray by staying home on election day. The only people who are truly above the fray are living on their own private islands somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Oh wait, event these recluses are affected by global warming so maybe "above the fray" is not an option.

  •  tell me why they should vote. (0+ / 0-)

    more NDAA?
    more FISA?
    more SOPA?
    more war?

    for what are we voting? all the blah blah blah about the Supreme Court doesn't thrill me at all. If we have presidents selecting judges who back hacking away at our civil liberties or justices that would finally side with the paramilitary police actions of countless OCCUPY encounters, how does that help me with privacy, abortion, and marriage equality?

    i know that health care sounds good as an issue. marriage equality too. but there are far more important indicators of how the American society will handle civil rights for ALL of its citizens as opposed to unregulated free-for-all granted to global corporations and banks. and watch out for the bankers man... europe is their first mark apparently, trying to force countries to accept this new order to um "save" the euro. not buying it.

    Anyway... when the President or any other national Dem wants to attack the prison industry or the medical industrial complex or stop warring... then maybe you'd some of those 90 million invested in voting. until then... i'm not surprised it's a hard sell.

    •  The issues listed by Pfiore8 poll like this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      (in terms of what's most important, includes all Americans)


      Corruption: 1% (interesting coincidence)


      "War": 1-2%

      Judicial: 1-2%

    •  An excellent concern troll (0+ / 0-)

      Donut hole pie

      Ingredients: Enough donut holes to fill a pie shell

      Procedure: Enjoy!

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:38:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The government is doing something I don't like! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, Sue B

      Therefore, I'm not going to do the one thing that might stop them from doing it!

    •  "Humphrey doesn't hate the war enough!" (0+ / 0-)

      So we'll just build an alternative culture. And the war will last another seven years. Sounds good to me.

      •  it's simple really. it's time to move on: (0+ / 0-)
        You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

        Buckminster Fuller

        so perhaps you were being sarcastic, but your response has more merit than you might think.
        •  Well, the 20,000 men who died in Vietnam (0+ / 0-)

          from January 1969 to the end of the war sure escaped the "existing" model. They don't exist.

          •  whaaaaaaaat? (0+ / 0-)

            not sure what you mean.

            you might enjoy this, however:

            •  You know, I am a great admirer of Fuller, (0+ / 0-)

              but his legacy is rather scant outside of architecture. Perhaps most famous for popularizing the geodesic dome (not inventing, by the way), his ideas of a whole earth were not original, either.

              (The dome's most frequent use, ironically, has been as a cover for military radars).

              Fuller has always been a great inspiration to me personally, for his approach to creativity and design, and for his famous response to the suicidal impulse.

              A world-changer? Not so much. Robert Wagner and FDR impacted your personal quality of life much more than Fuller. Hell, Richard Eames shaped your world more than Fuller. McLuhan shaped your understanding of thought, media and design more than Fuller. Hell, Ernie Kovacs did more to educate people on the plasticity of reality than Fuller.

              Great guy, smart guy, but of minimal actual impact on the world.

              •  not sure about your point. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crashing Vor

                do you mean we shouldn't consider his ideas? i am certain his "minimal" impact can be considered in this one question:

                it's to do with the individual... does the individual really have the courage to go along with the truth?
                i take it he means truth in a society based on collectivism having the same goals perhaps as objectivism (since its so much in the conversation these days) via different means.

                happiness. the pursuit of happiness.

                anyway. facing an objective truth (if there is such a thing) is hard. harder yet is acting (or knowing what to do) on the basis of that information.

                Ayn Rand's view makes it so much easier because you have no obligation to help the cripple in front of you... there is no means to examine how the cripple got there, even when it can truly be the result of your capitalistic pursuit... as long as you didn't overtly harm, which is nonsense of course.

                like my sister buying an SUV and my asking her if she had a clue about the impact of that one decision on native peoples in South America (I know I know... but yet...)

                Fuller, on the other hand in my reading, asks us if we are willing to be responsible meaning: do we (can we) accept that our actions have consequences that impact those around us. and that impact on others causes impact further and further out. and if we accept that, do we have what it takes to act in a way that mitigates the negative and promotes the positive?

                all this to say (and now maybe i'm way off track) that it's easier to vote for Democrats than to stop participating in a corrupted and broken system and beginning NOW TODAY to find some other way to make it work.

    •  You may know those terms, but those not voting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      don't. (outside of the war, and even then there are many who don't understand it)

      NDAA, SOPA and FISA?   Even some of the active people I know don't know what those terms are.

      Republicans: They hate us for our Freedom.

      by mikeconwell on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:22:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  their turnout is probably higher in swing states (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, Crashing Vor, Sychotic1

    i imagine that most of these non-voters would vote if they were in a swing state.

    the article only indirectly addresses the issue of how competitive the state's electoral votes actually are:

    The survey identified one extremely persuasive argument. Among Obama supporters, 85% say they would go to the polls if they knew their vote would help swing a close election to the president; 70% of Romney supporters say the same for their candidate.
  •  I have friends telling me this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, codairem

    that they won't bother voting, etc.

    I encourage where I can, but honestly, if the current administration would send just ONE Wall Street fat cat to jail for wrecking the economy...I think you'd see a major shift. Citizens United really killed everyone's idea of civic duty and thinking their vote counted--watching Rmoney pull down millions and Obama having fund raisers on Wall Street does nothing to inspire confidence that anyone in Washington cares what regular Americans think--or want.

    And I'm not agreeing with the nay-sayers, I'm just saying this is my experience with those around me and I get where they're coming from.

    Hate it, but I get it.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein

    by jiordan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:25:11 AM PDT

  •  A long term consequence of political consultants (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, Cat Servant, Crashing Vor

    telling their candidates to chase imaginary "swing voters", instead of getting no-shows to turn out.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:32:57 AM PDT

  •  Had a conversation with my BIL yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, codairem, decitect

    He doesn't vote.

    Why?  I asked.

    Jury duty, he said matter of factly.  He is, like many in the Latino community in LA, in a job which pays his bills, but doesn't leave much left over.  He says he can't afford to get called up for jury duty, so he doesn't register to vote in order to stay out of the jury duty pool.

    There wasn't a single word I could say to him to convince him otherwise.  He is one of those guys who is low on information, fairly low on job skills, utterly convinced that he has nothing to do with government.

    Essentially, he feels he can only be harmed by getting involved, not helped.

    I just didn't know what to say to that.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:35:17 AM PDT

    •  Is Jury Duty decided by voter registration or by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, Crashing Vor

      driver's license in your community? I know it can be either or. If you can find out that it's by driver's license, then it might convince your BIL that it registering to vote won't effect jury duty selection.

    •  I expect that you can find the local regulations (4+ / 0-)

      allowing hardship exemptions from jury service, and show them to him. It's all on the Web, you know.

      Never mind. I found the information for you.

      I do not assume that that will work, of course, although I am ever-hopeful in such cases. But can you drag him to a La Raza GOTV event, perhaps?

      What does he think about the President allowing children brought to the US without papers to apply for work permits? What does he think about Romney/Ryan's implausibly denied racism? "I can't have illegals working for me. I'm running for President!" but otherwise it would be just fine.

      I know that many Latinos tell themselves that there is nothing they can do about the pervasive hatred that surrounds them. I expect that many may find it too painful to confront the racists from a position of helplessness. But that is the point, to overcome the helplessness. Can you invite him to talk about it, and sympathize?

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 08:52:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not very reassuring, I'm afraid (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, codairem

        This is what the link says:

        Financial Hardship Excuses
        Click here to return to the top

        Financial Hardship requests are strictly scrutinized. The fact that your employer does not pay for jury service is not sufficient grounds for excuse. You must be able to demonstrate how service as a juror will cause you EXTREME hardship. Section C must be completed, and Section G must be signed and dated. Failure to complete Section C in its entirety will cause you to be automatically qualified for jury service.

        You may also request a financial hardship excuse online by going to the jury website and selecting “My Jury Duty Portal”. Select the “MyInfo” tab and complete the requested information (if you have not registered for service, also select the “My Summons” tab), and then select the “Excuse” tab (see “online information” for additional information).

        I think the only thing I could ever say to him to convince him is to find a local candidate who is committed to improving community/police relations in his area.

        They are not good.  His primary concern is being harassed every day by police.  Presidential politics might as well be on the moon as far as he's concerned.

        I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

        by coquiero on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:01:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Last time I was called it was clearly *not* by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, coquiero

      voter registration. They used a version of my name that is only on my social security card.

      The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

      by emidesu on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:14:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  they have let everyone I have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, coquiero

      ever been on jury duty off if they just asked.  Hell, I have had to ask twice and never had an issue.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:17:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Talk to them. (4+ / 0-)

    I'll guarantee you that some are friends and family. They just don't get it. They really think their vote won't matter. It's one of the reasons I don't mind polls that show this as a close election - less people are likely to stay home if they think Romney can squeak this one out.

  •  i wish i knew! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    i work with a woman who said that she doesn't know enough to vote.  
    She is way smarter than most voters that i see.  she does not follow the issues.  However, i do wish that stupid people (people who watch Fox news) would think like her and NOT vote!

  •  Start a meme that they won't be ALLOWED (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, Crashing Vor, mikeconwell

    to vote.  Anger up the blood, light a fire under their butts.

  •  Doing my bit as a college professor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, Sychotic1

    At a liberal, but not very political, school, I give my students info on how to register to vote & get an absentee ballot.  Then they get bonus points on their midterm or final exam if they write one of the following 4 things:

    - I am registered to vote and will vote in November.
    - I am in the process of registering to vote and will vote in November.
    - I am not a U.S. citizen, but will vote in my own country's next election.
    - I am not a U.S. citizen, and am from some shitty dictatorship where we can't vote.  (They're allowed to omit "shitty" if they think it'll get them or their family tossed in jail.)

  •  One of My Daughters gave me a line about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    her vote not making a difference.  It happened on FB, for all her 400 friends to see.

    So, I thought about it carefully and then put a short response up telling her that too many women fought for her right to vote for her to treat it so lightly.

    I also said something to the effect that people killed in overseas wars (whether our own citizens or 'collateral' damage) might have a different view.

    Every vote counts.  

    We went on to discuss the importance of being "obligated" as part of our society to do the best we can to participate in some way in our democracy.  

    I once had a nun in school that said 'if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.'  When folks don't participate, IMO they don't have the right to complain about their circumstances.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:19:01 AM PDT

  •  Poll checking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    I ran a public school bond election campaign where we did very thorough phone ID followed up with poll-checkers in every precinct. We particulary tried to pull registered voters favorable to us who had an uneven record of turning out to vote. (Yes, we still lost, and there's no consolation prize for "better than expected" showings.) What surprised me, however, was how many people in this upper middle class suburb believed that WHETHER they had voted should not be public information. Not HOW they voted, but WHETHER they voted. Too bad we still can't put people like this in the stocks for a day to shame them.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:23:08 AM PDT

  •  GOTV efforts need to emphasize the down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, poliwrangler

    ballot and local matters. Really, if Obama is likely to win without those votes, then those votes will make no difference to that race, so those voters are correct as to that. Would Obama's views, beliefs and values change if he won by a landslide? Not likely. A sea change in Congress, however, would be a different matter.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:28:31 AM PDT

  •  I would be curious in a breakout (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    ...of this data by state and Congressional District.  I know that the poll didn't do that.  Quick and dirty national polls never do, and consequently are not very helpful.

    My guess is that a good portion of them are in districts with a long-term member of Congress, but I would like to test that hypothesis.  If it's a Congressman from their party, they will likely not vote because the Congressman will win anyway.  And from a different party, it's because no matter how they vote, their "vote won't count" as far as changing policy.

    My position has been that every Democrat should have the opportunity to choose an alternative candidate in a primary; otherwise there is no accountability for incumbents.

    And every voter should have the opportunity to choose a Democrat who has been vetted in a primary; otherwise, we are conceding districts that we might win in a wave election.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:38:18 AM PDT

  •  Giving them (0+ / 0-)

    a real choice other then Bain vs.Goldman Sachs. That would require the Democrat's actually fighting for ordinary people and not being the lesser of two evils. Grand Bargains, cat food commissions, banksters running our economy, and calling half full glasses of toxic waste all you can get just don't cut it. People bs meters are on full tilt with good reason, they are getting screwed no matter who gets elected.. Their vote doesn't matter other then keeping the most rabid wolves from the door.

    Blaming the voters or non voters seems pointless. It's a political fiction to say that these people are apathetic or low information or ignorant. They live in and with the results of a one party state that refuses to represent their interests. Convincing them that either party will 'change their lives for the better' would have to be real, and would require the Democratic party to fight for their interests and represent the common good.

    It would require more then grand bargains. A new deal where oligarchical collectivism is not the 'inevitable' NWO and working ordinary people are not just profit losses or 'irresponsible' consumers in their inhuman race to the top.

    You underestimate people.They may not be weathermen but they sure as hell know which way the wind blows. As one non voter said when I was hustling votes and registrations for OFA's  'bottom up, change you can believe in'  my vote is no vote. I registered a whole household of young skateboarders in 07. The one holdout said 'I vote for pizza'. I think of these people often these days. They are my neighbors my community and they were bait and switched with my help.  

    Lot's of people turned out to vote or registered in O8 in my district. The Bushies went too far and people including some Republicans thought that they were the change they had been waiting for.   I have been a member of my Democratic county party for a decade. In 04 I heard a lot of Coke or Pepsi no thanks. In short you need more then rhetoric or memes or even fear to get these people to vote you need to actually represent and fight for them and represent them. Ass backwards politics to try and sell/convince people that two legs are after all democratic and in  their interest.              

  •  hey CV i thought of you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, Larsstephens

    when paul ryan said

    “Right now I just want to enjoy the fair.”

    it reminded me a lot of "i want my life back"

    salon on ryan at the fair

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:25:03 PM PDT

  •  This is a big deal in Texas where people think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that due to the Electoral College system, that their vote "won't count" since th 50% +1 of Texans will vote Republican and thus all votes that matter will go to the Republican nominee.   When I'm registering people to vote, I'll hear this at least twice in a day.

    And like it or not, many people only think of voting for the President, not everyone that appears down ticket.  

    Republicans: They hate us for our Freedom.

    by mikeconwell on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:18:15 PM PDT

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