Tuesday, May 25, 2010


YOUR MONEY’S NO GOOD HERE: We’ve been popping Dramamine since Saturday in order to keep from getting dizzy and heaving from being incessantly spun by the three main candidates in Saturday’s 1st congressional district (CD) election with winner Djou’s and fellow Repugnacan’ts claiming a partisan sea change despite being outpolled by the two Dummocraps combined, Ed Case’s delusional sniveling email about the “dark side of politics” and his contention that he would have won if not for a million bucks in negative ads despite his creepy persona and blue dog credentials in a generally progressive district and Colleen Hanabusa’s disingenuous claim that the “grassroots” put her in second place rather than machinations of the fabled Inouye political apparatus (How’s that for a sentence).

But the results themselves seem to indicate one of two things- either the lemmings didn’t do a cliff dive to abandon Hanabusa for Case in order to try to assure a Dem win as we said might happen almost three weeks ago when the polls came out showing Case leading Hanabusa for second place or, most likely, the polls were wrong.

This is becoming a trend lately with unlisted cell phones and caller-ID-inspired screening and it didn’t help that it’s traditionally hard in Hawai`i to get older voters- especially among Japanese- to declare their preference and thus stay out of the “undecided” column.

Amidst all the post-polling punditry and dissection one factual difference in the way the elections bureau operated during the all-mail election hasn’t been mentioned much and could have really made a difference for Hanabusa and her party’s well oiled and notoriously effective “get out the vote (GOTV)” operation.

Buried deep inside a routine Derrick DePledge Honolulu Advertiser article during the closing days (sorry for the lack of link- just try finding the archives in the 'Tiser these days) was the information that, unlike in other elections, they were not providing lists of those who had voted and who hadn’t so far.

For those who have never seen a well funded party campaign up close- and it’s not just the Dems who do it these days as the ’02 and ‘06 Lingle campaigns will attest- here’s how it works.

Parties have lists of past supporters from other elections, all broken down by demographic info and starting with those lists teams of phone bankers spend their time early in the campaign identifying supporters by basically calling each one and, depending on how much money they have, going out in ever widening circles of possible supporters compiling their own list of “identified supporters” along with undecided “leaners” in their candidate’s direction.

Then, as the election approaches they call back the leaners to try to convince them but more importantly to call back their supporters to encourage them to vote absentee- or in the case of an all mail election to make sure they have voted- or make sure they are able to get to the polls on election day or, if not, offer to provide them with a ride.

Once someone appears on the list of those who have voted they are checked off and the calls end, winnowing down the list to those who haven’t voted for more follow-up calls.

On election day they send out the “poll watchers” to check the lists throughout the day at each polling site to check off those who have voted so the phone backers can make more last minute calls to, as they say, “get out the vote”.

You can see how important those lists are. And although the methodology is a bit different for an all-mail election, if anything the information on who voted and who didn’t can be even more effective in making sure pre-identified supporters send in their ballots if they haven’t already and you don’t waste your time- and therefore money- on those who have voted already.

Widespread press reports indicate that many Hanabusa supporters were angry at the aggressiveness of Hanabusa’s GOTV team, most likely because they had to just keep calling all supporters- even those who had voted- because there was no list available.

Whether the availability of the lists would have put Hanabusa over the top is questionable at best what with a 10% deficit to make up. But it may be a harbinger of a bigger lead going into the Dem primary in late September when she and Case go head to head.

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