Monday, November 12, 2012

Instapundit Citation on Voter Turnout and Messaging

Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit) recently posted a quick link on the importance of voter turnout in the recent election:
THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD CAN DISBAND: 407,000 Votes in Four States Away from the Presidency. Romney got out-hustled in a base-turnout election. Bigthink concerns about demographics, messaging, etc. may or may not have merit, but aren’t why he lost. 
I sent him a quick e-mail reply, and he was gracious enough to add it to his main post:
I share your observation that voter turnout was critical. But I don't think you should too quickly discount the bigger concerns about messaging.

Like many others, I also thought that the enthusiastic turnouts at the October GOP rallies in CO and OH, as well as voters stating they'd "crawl on their hands and knees through broken glass" to pull the lever for Romney indicated a hidden enthusiasm edge not reflected in the polls.

But in retrospect, the vote totals showed that Romney's support may have been deeper than McCain's in 2008, but not significantly broader.

So in that respect, those GOP rallies indicated something akin to the small-but-intense fan base for Apple computers in the mid-1990s. Of course, one of Steve Jobs' key accomplishments in the 2000s was to turn that into an LARGE-and-intense fan base for Apple products.

I won't rehash the "bigthink" arguments about the best next direction for the GOP. I just want to propose that *if* they can improve their message and inspire genuine enthusiasm for a positive pro-freedom agenda, then rallying (and growing) the base won't be a problem. Although I have a mixed opinion of Ronald Reagan policies, he was an acknowledged master at communicating an inspiring, upbeat message to the voters. If the GOP finds a good message and a good messenger, then the turnout problem will take care of itself.
 (Glenn Reynolds also linked to another interesting piece by Jededia Bila: "Outreach is not pandering".)