Shenandoah County GOP


Polling Chaos
September 30, 2008, 10:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Anyone who has been following the polls in Virginia for the last week probably has a headache…..Obama +2…….McCain +9……..Tie……..McCain +2…….Obama +5. How can one little state be getting all these different results. I have my thoughts, including that Virginia is becoming increasingly difficult to poll accurately due to a number of demographic changes. I’m hoping to do a feature post soon

Some food for thought from RTD:

The Gallup organization, one of the oldest and most respected polls, says it does account for cell-phone users. About 15 percent of households now use cell phones only.

Residents of those households tend to be younger, more minorities and more transient, the Gallup organization’s Web site says.

Those would be more likely to be Obama supporters.

Since Jan. 2, Gallup has been including cell phone-only households in all of its telephone surveys, the Web site says. The most recent national Gallup poll, taken Friday, shows Obama leading by 5 percentage points.

Coker said the Obama campaign should be more worried about the so-called “Wilder effect” or “Bradley effect.”

The phenomenon was named for Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and California’s Tom Bradley, black office holders who saw substantial poll leads disappear on Election Day. This resulted in a theory that some voters are embarrassed to tell pollsters that they will not support a black candidate.

In 1982, Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, led in the polls but lost California’s election for governor.

Two days before Virginia’s 1989 election for governor, Wilder led his Republican opponent, J. Marshall Coleman, by 15 percentage points, according to one poll. Wilder won the election, but it was so close there was a recount.

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Knock three times (if you want to win elections)
September 25, 2008, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics

From the top-notch electoral analysis site fivethirtyeight.com comes this little tidbit about just why our get out the vote efforts, though certainly different here in Shenandoah County, are absolutely crucial this year:

Twelve to one.

For every twelve voters who you talk to at their doors, one voter goes and votes who would not otherwise have voted. If you’re asking: “how can I be most effective in helping my candidate win the election?” then an organizer’s answer is going to be: knock on doors.

In a Yale study by Donald Green and Alan Gerber on the effects of doorknocking in local elections, they concluded that a conservative estimate was that “12 successful face-to-face contacts translated into one additional vote.”

This figure, moreover, is a conservative estimate. When calculating the effects of actual treatment, we regarded any conversation with a member of the household as a “contact.” Only about half of these conversations occurred directly with a subject in the treatment group; the remainder involved urging a housemate to vote and requesting that this message be passed along to the intended subject. Had we restricted the definition of contact to direct conversations with the subject, the apparent effects of canvassing would have been much greater.
Although the study aimed at local elections, the principle is sound. Face-to-face contact is the single most important effort a volunteer can contribute to his or her candidate.

Let’s do a little math. 12 face-to-face contacts is one new voter who would not have otherwise voted that you personally generated. You just doubled your own vote by speaking at the door to twelve voters. Of course, then it comes down to contact rate — how often is the person home that you’re trying to reach. A very low contact rate is probably 10%, and that happens. A very high contact rate can be 50%. Average is in the 25% ballpark. On average, you’d have to knock on 48 doors to generate 12 face-to-face contacts and one additional vote. 48 doors is a pretty standard, approximate walk list.

So if you go out one four-hour walk shift every weekend between now and the election, you’ve generated — on average — six extra votes from people who would not otherwise have voted for your candidate.

For those of you who still refuse to believe, here is the full study. Studies exist out there for phones and direct mail as well.

I’ve been saying it for four years, and I’ll say it again: Face to face contact with voters matter. Campaigning is a two part process: the campaigns use mass media (including the press and paid media, like radio and cable ads) to make the case for their candidate, but its the priority of the grassroots to make sure that people get out there and vote once the case has been made. Phones are a little less effective, but the studies show: outreach works, and it matters.

If you want to help make a major difference in this race, join as at 10 A.M. and again at 3 p.m. for Door to Door in Strasburg. We’ll meet at our headquarters at 183 E. King Street. We’ll try to make it out rain or shine–ponchos will be provided.



Team Sarah!
September 25, 2008, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Election 2008

BUMP: Because these shirts are neat, and some corrections are due.

Ok, so I may not be a Republican Woman (although I am an associate member of the Shenandoah County unit), but SWACGirl has alerted us to the formation of Team Sarah, dedicated to defending Sarah Palin against the vicious attacks of the jealous left.

Meanwhile, in the comments, we find out that we can now buy these:

Shirts are $22 for xxl and $20 for other sizes and can be purchased here. Proceeds benefit the Prince William GOP McCain-Palin effort and breast cancer research.



Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign
September 25, 2008, 11:55 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics

Probably the biggest part of my job as office manager (yes, I’ve taken on another task) for our County headquarters is working with Amy Tisinger and Suzanne Curran to make sure all sign requests are taken care of (by the way, if I didn’t get to you last night, so sorry, but I got lost in St. Luke). People have been clamoring left and right with the new enthusiasim that Palin has brought to the ticket–which is much to my chagrin, as for the last few weeks we’ve only had a small supply of McCain signs. However, thanks to some intrepid efforts we finally have a small stock of McCain-Palin signs, with more on the way.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are having some issues getting signs here in Virginia:

Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is spending millions of dollars on television ads in Virginia, staffing 43 offices and sending the candidate and his running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., to every corner of the state.

But Obama has apparently overlooked one important element of a successful campaign in Virginia: stocking up on those venerable lawn signs.

Across the state, Democratic officials are clamoring to get hold of free Obama yard signs but are being told that none are available or that they have to buy them from the candidate’s Web site. It can take weeks to get them delivered.

The frustration of volunteers and Democratic officials over the campaign’s inability to provide the signs is nearing a boiling point in some parts of Virginia.

As signs for GOP nominee John McCain sprout up in neighborhood after neighborhood, some Democrats are starting to fear that their failure to win the lawn sign war could in a small way cut into Obama’s ability to carry Virginia.

“I think they might be missing the boat,” Chris Graham, chairman of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee, said in an interview. “We have so many people coming in, and they just want a sign. ….. Signs are a big deal for our people.”

 

Kevin Griffis, an Obama spokesman, said the campaign hasn’t put a priority on lawn signs, noting that they don’t vote on Election Day.

Mr. Griffis is right; yard signs don’t vote (except in Chicago). However, what they DO do is create a small bit of ownership in the campaign for the individual in the yard sign, and it starts that conversation between neighbors, particularly in subdivisions. Once you get that conversation going, you can churn out some votes. So they do create a human connection, however small, for the campaign, which can be absolutely crucial as the campaign draws nigh. It also starts that conversation to see if there’s something more, however small, that the person can do.

However, the Obama campaign would rather you work BEFORE you get your sign:

Obama’s Virginia campaign did receive several thousand Obama-Biden signs two weeks ago. But it decided to distribute them only to volunteers who went door-to-door last weekend.

“After you knock on just 40 doors, make sure you stop by the office in your area to pick up your free Obama-Biden yard sign,” Steve Hildebrandand, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, wrote in an e-mail to Virginia supporters.

The e-mail offended some.

“Earn your signs? Give me a break,” Chris Duckworth, an Obama volunteer from Chantilly, said in interview. “You should be honored that I would put the sign in my yard. Is he such a celebrity that I have to earn the right to put a 29-cent sign in my yard? ….. We should be saturating the neighborhoods with this stuff.”

Fortunately, we DO have signs available. Our campaign HQ at 183 E. King in Strasburg is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday and each evening starting October 1st, with Saturday hours from 10 a.m-8 p.m. We will also be distributing them at our rally on Saturday, and will be putting a few at United Country Real Estate in Mount Jackson starting Monday. We will also have a few at all the events scheduled on on our Calendar of Events as well. If for whatever reason you can’t make it to anything, please give Craig Orndorff a call at (540) 335-9428.

Thanks for hanging in there, and please know that so many people are looking for yard signs that they are driving all the way from WEST VIRGINIA to the Harrisonburg office to find them.

 



Headquarters opening this Saturday!
September 23, 2008, 10:06 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Local Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics
Shenandoah County Republican Committee to Open 2008 Victory Center
 
(Strasburg)- For the first time in recent memory the Shenandoah County Republican Committee will be opening a headquarters in Strasburg, in light of the pivotal role the community will play as a battleground in the larger fight for the state. The headquarters will be located at 183 E. King Street at the law offices of Wiseley McDonald Wiseley. The office will serve not only as a place for individuals to get materials for the McCain/Palin-Gilmore-Goodlatte team but also as a staging area for the countywide Get-out-the-vote activities.
 
“Having an office in Strasburg will provide us an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to a town that has become a battlefield in recent elections, both on the state and local level,” said Craig Orndorff, Activities Chairman for the Shenandoah County Republican Committe. “Additionally, having an office open for the entire county will give individuals interested in volunteering or displaying their support a place to come and work hard for victory in November.”
 
“Thanks to the generosity of the Wiseleys, the Shenandoah County Republican Committee will once again an official gathering place for its corps of hardworking supporters,” said Mike Monahan, Chairman of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee. “Having an office in Strasburg will give us a chance to reach out to a portion of the county that we have not had a large presence in during the last few years. However, we will also be able to serve the rest of the county by having a technological up-to-date “nerve center” where we can plan strategy and process incoming data and requests. Satellite locations in Mount Jackson and Woodstock will allow us to reach out to voters in those sections of the county as well.”
 
The Strasburg office will be open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings through September 30th. Starting on October 2nd, the office will be open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Saturdays. The office will be closed to the public on Sundays. There will also be special events during the debates and other important occasions in the campaign.
 
There will be a grand opening ceremony on September 27th at 2 p.m. at the Strasburg location to celebrate the party’s new home. Invited guests include Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Delegate Todd Gilbert, and Senator Mark Obenshain. Materials will be available and refreshments will be served.
 
The Shenandoah County Republican Committee is the official unit of the Republican Party of Virginia in Shenandoah County. The committee is made up of over sixty men and women dedicated to the party’s principles and aided by a diverse grassroots corps. The Republican Party is the dominant party in Shenandoah County, controlling the Board of Supervisors, four of five constitutional offices, both state legislative seats, and regularly scoring over 60% in statewide elections. The committee is chaired by Michael Monahan.
 
For more information on this event or to contact county headquarters, call Craig Orndorff at (540) 335-9428 or email him at craig.orndorff@gmail.com



Polling Chaos
September 23, 2008, 10:01 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Polling, State Government and Politics, Technology and Politics

Obama +2…Tie…..McCain +2……Obama +4……McCain +9. If you’re like me, you’re probably starting to get a headache from all the different polling results on the presidential race here in Virginia. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again–polling is as much an art as it is a science. I’ll try to write a post soon about how to be a careful consumer of polls in this “silly season,” but for now here’s some food for thought from the RTD:

Some supporters of Sen. Barack Obama, puzzled by why he can’t mount a big lead over Sen. John McCain in a difficult environment for Republicans, say the pollsters are missing younger, pro-Obama voters who have cell phones only.

Even some pollsters raise another uncertainty about the plethora of Virginia polls — whether all of the respondents who say they back Obama will vote in November for the nation’s first black major-party nominee.

Nearly 250,000 first-time voters have registered in Virginia this year, and 42 percent are under the age of 25. The overall gain has pushed Virginia’s voter rolls to 4.8 million people.

Coker said if the sample for a poll includes the number of young voters in proportion to the population, the absence of cell-phone users doesn’t matter. He said exit polls taken during the 2004 presidential election showed no difference in voting behavior between landline and cell-phone users.

Polls are weighted to match the demographic composition of the electorate, Coker said.

The Pew Research Center’s Scott Keeter, a former pollster at Virginia Commonwealth University, found that cell-only respondents are significantly more likely to support Obama. But he said they also are substantially less likely to be registered to vote and, if registered, less likely to go to the polls.

A Pew survey in June found that Obama held a 48 percent to 40 percent advantage over McCain among cell-phone users and a 46 percent to 41 percent advantage among landline users.

The Gallup organization, one of the oldest and most respected polls, says it does account for cell-phone users. About 15 percent of households now use cell phones only.

Residents of those households tend to be younger, more minorities and more transient, the Gallup organization’s Web site says.

Those would be more likely to be Obama supporters.

Since Jan. 2, Gallup has been including cell phone-only households in all of its telephone surveys, the Web site says. The most recent national Gallup poll, taken Friday, shows Obama leading by 5 percentage points.

Coker said the Obama campaign should be more worried about the so-called “Wilder effect” or “Bradley effect.”

The phenomenon was named for Virginia’s L. Douglas Wilder and California’s Tom Bradley, black office holders who saw substantial poll leads disappear on Election Day. This resulted in a theory that some voters are embarrassed to tell pollsters that they will not support a black candidate.

In 1982, Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, led in the polls but lost California’s election for governor.

Two days before Virginia’s 1989 election for governor, Wilder led his Republican opponent, J. Marshall Coleman, by 15 percentage points, according to one poll. Wilder won the election, but it was so close there was a recount.

In an interview last week, Wilder, now Richmond’s mayor and an Obama backer, said the public polls were wrong in 1989. Wilder said his own campaign’s internal polling showed the contest was much closer.



And this is the pro-business candidate?
September 23, 2008, 9:41 am
Filed under: Congress, Domestic Policy, Election 2008

One of the dirty little secrets of this campaign is that Mark Warner is drawing alot of Republican support. And who can blame them? Mark’s “nice” enough (I always thought Jimmy Carter was pretty nice too). And he “saved” Virginia (the facts aside).

But what about the issues. Mark always tries to talk the moderate talk….except when he needs to pander to the right crowd. The above video shows Warner at a Fourth of July Union Rally supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. Now why would that be such a bad thing? We all like to be “free.”

Well, like all good congressional action, the proposed EFCA would make employees anything but free. Currently, the process for unionization requires that either 30% of the membership sign authorization cards to call for unionization, with an election then to be held by secret ballot, or that 50% sign and the employer allow the 50% showing to stand as a “card check” election. However, under the proposed legislation, employers would be forced to accept the results of a card check as long as no coercion can be proved. Seems fair? But ask yourself–just how do you go about proving coercion when those being forced to sign are too scared to talk? The current system protects both employers by allowing them to ensure a fair process was used and employees by protecting them from coercion. Under the new law, the only thing protecting employees would be their ability to put everything at stake to ensure that fairness was given to all parties.

And this is supported by the “pro-business” candidate.

So think about that when you get ready to cast your vote for Mark Warner. That and the vote for electing Harry Reid Majority Leader, support for Obama’s economic policies, pro-choice views…..