[Originally published at UnifiedPatriots.com.]
Some say we must change our culture if we are to change the outcome of the elections. One way to change the culture is to change it where you live.
Each of us lives in a voting precinct. Do you know any of the other Republicans in yours? Do you want to? Do you know, for example. that if you become a Republican Party precinct committeeman in your precinct you can obtain a walking sheet of your entire precinct that will tell you the names of all of the voters, their party affiliations (if your state has party registrations), and where they live? And whether they have voted in the last four primary and general elections? This is information that can help you change the “culture” of the Republicans in your precinct. And change the outcomes of the elections. Because we conservative Republicans need a better “ground game” in terms of getting out the vote. No?
One way to change the culture is by organizing and uniting like-minded voters to get them to actually cast votes. My experience has been that some good, decent Republican voters feel very alone when it comes to our Party. Sure, they get bombarded with mailers from the state and national Party committees, and from the candidates, but in recent years they had rarely had a knock at the door, or a phone call, from a fellow Republican living in their precinct. Those of us who are precinct committeemen in my precinct are beginning to change that. And we are learning that Republicans who turn out to vote in a primary election are 95% probable general election voters. Thus, when the precinct committeemen, and the Republican candidates and their volunteers, succeed in greatly increasing turnout in the primary election, getting the vote out in the general becomes an exercise of focusing on those voters who did not turn out in the primary.
It sounds almost too obvious to state, but what wins elections is not registered voters. What wins elections is registered voters who actually vote. And the absolute best way to “nudge” a conservative voter to the polls is through a personal phone call or personalized literature drop, with a sample ballot already filled out with recommended votes, from one conservative to another. And that is what we have been doing in my precinct since the spring of 2012, and it works.
Our Arizona primary was August 26. Overall turnout in Maricopa County was 25.3%. Republican turnout was 46.3%. Republican turnout in my precinct was 59%. So, for the upcoming general election, the six of us precinct committeeman in our precinct don’t have to worry about “nudging” the 700 or so Republicans who voted in the primary. Instead, we’ll focus on the approximately 400 who didn’t vote. (We had contacted them before the primary but, for some reason, they did not cast a ballot.) Eleven hundred divided by six equals about 183 voters per precinct committeeman. Four hundred divided by six equals about 66 voters per precinct committeeman. Based on past experience, that will be approximately forty households for each precinct committeeman. Making phone calls to about 40 households, followed up with a literature drop at their doors, based on past experience, takes less than three hours. I can devote three hours before the general election making phone calls to my neighbors, my fellow Republicans, and I know they will be grateful for the reminder. And included in that literature drop will be an invitation to attend the monthly Republican legislative edistrict committee meeting.
The follow-on for this type of neighborhood activity is then attempting to determine, among those voters who turned out in the primary, which of them are conservatives. And, demographically, might be likely to have the time to help get out the vote as precinct committeemen. I like to target those in the 45 to 65 year old age range. New empty nesters and new retirees. I use a series of litmus test questions as part of a “voter attitudes survey.” If the voter gives the “right” answers, then I ask them if they are happy with the “leadership” of our Party. The answer is usually, “Hell, no!” Then I ask them if they had an opportunity to cast a vote for the Party’s leadership, if they would take it. The answer is always, “Well, yes.” Then I explain how easy it is to become an appointed, and then an elected, precinct committeeman — and that by becoming one, they will have the right to vote for the Party’s leadership. (About 60% of the Arizona Republican Party’s approximately 12,000 precinct committeeman slots are vacant right now.) So when we change the Party at the precinct level, in every precinct, we start changing our Party into a more conservative party. We change our culture by getting conservatives organized and united for political action in their “political neighborhoods,” their voting precincts. And the greater number of precincts we change in this way, the greater impact we will have in changing our Party overall. And then we can begin to do these sorts of things.
Here are two graphics that explain why and how we conservatives must become united “inside” our Party.
How and who to unify:
Why to unify:
Many complain our Party is not “conservative enough.” True. The reason it is not conservative enough? Not enough conservatives are “in” the Party as precinct committeemen. Fill up all the vacant precinct committeeman slots with conservatives, and those conservatives will have changed our Party into a conservative powerhouse. Precinct committeemen, and only precinct committeemen, elect, directly or indirectly, all of the Party officers.
The precinct committeemen “are” the Party. They are the elite of the Party. Become part of the Party elite. It is not hard to do. And the odds are good that about half of the available slots in your precinct are vacant. You are needed “inside” the Party where you live. Attend your the next monthly meeting of your local Party committee, and you will see why.
And, the GOP Establishment is just peachy keen that you will stay out of the local committees of “their” political party.
More here: The Precinct Project’s Blog.
I hope this helps.