Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Restructuring the Party - Passion into Politics

With yesterday’s election of Paulsen to be our new minority leader in the Iowa House, we now have our first real sign of change in our Party. I posted yesterday morning on restructuring the Party and wrote first on fundraising. Although I do consider that about half of what a Party should do, the other half is equally important. We must have a state Party mechanism for increasing our voters, not just the margins.

The following are some voter registration statistics that should highlight the problems Republicans are facing. I’m not putting down the inactive registrants because they are almost irrelevant.

November 2008
Republicans: 592,397
Democrats: 698,839
No Party: 711,705

January 2000
Republicans: 582,510
Democrats: 562,989
No Party: 658,546

Interesting extrapolations:
1. Since 2000 Republicans have gained only 9,887 registrants or around 1.7 percent.
2. Since 2000 Democrats have gained 135,850 registrants or around 24.1 percent.
3. This year there were 106,442 more active Democrats than active Republicans.
4. Obama beat McCain by 140,732 votes in Iowa or 26,000 votes more than Obama’s registration edge.
5. If voters voted down party lines (which most do) the no party vote went around 47.5 percent to McCain. That is actually closer than what our state went – so we may assume the NP vote for McCain outpaced the party line registrant vote by just over 2 percent.

The most noticeable difference between 2000 where Bush lost by just over 4,000 votes and 2008 is the registration advantage Democrats have. How do we expect to quickly overcome a 106,442 registration disadvantage? In eight years the Democrats have gone from a 19,521 registration disadvantage to a massive 106,442 advantage. We aren’t going to be able to do a few mailings to make that up.

We must get some passion back into politics. For some reason, when we got in control of every chamber we could think of (except the Governor’s office), we dropped the issues and attitude that got us there in the first place. If we don’t start offering a contrast, we are doomed because there is no way we can out Democrat the Democrats.

We also have to have an excellent ground game. I don’t know if you have noticed or not but the Dems have been killing us on almost every facet of campaigning. They have more employees which equals more volunteers than we could even handle. Our RPI staff has been shrunk to a few guys that sit in the office in Des Moines. Maybe instead of paying for the headquarters we should pay for a few dozen staffers to sign up new voters for the next two years. That might get us working on a playing field where we, with a bunch of optimistic thinking, could see a victory in two years. It will probably take longer than that though – more like eight or ten years.

We also must step up the absentee program. It isn’t good enough to mail an absentee request form a couple times to those likely to vote absentee. We have to get to peoples’ doors in person. If we don’t, the Dems will and we will lose. Early voting is getting more and more popular and without candidates who have millions to spend on an absentee program, the Party must step up.

Our 72 hour program needs to be turned into an October program. The Dems figured that out quickly after Bush won Iowa in 2004. That program worked – once. It won’t work again unless the Dems sit on their hands all election cycle. We need every leaning Republicans’ door knocked and many knocked a couple times. They need to have an absentee request form and literature from every Republican candidate on the ballot.

And finally we need to get into the high schools and colleges with our elected Republicans. King, Latham, Grassley, Branstad, and all the others need to make it a point to change the future of this state by shaping the thought process of our students. There may be nothing more important than this. Imagine having the young and energetic kids the Democrats have. They get more done in an hour than many of us old folks get done in a day. We also get to open their mind to conservative philosophy before they get warped by their professors and the media.

None of these things work unless we get some passion back into our politics. We absolutely have to get back to our Republican roots but at the same time jump to the 21st century in running campaigns. If we do both of these, we can see the day where we have full control of the state and nation and this time, we will take advantage of it.

1 comment:

Get in the Game said...

CD - let's see some posts on who you want for RPI Chair. What about Gross's "not so secret meeting"? You made a ballsy call earlier stating you want King to run for Gov, you still there?

Let's take your "passion" and see how you would translate into an effective Iowa playing field.

Time to quit sideseat driving and get in to the game