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 NovemberNinety million. More than a quarter of the country.
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.
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?