The Loveland campaign office is just on the edge of going hard on their Get Out the Vote operation. The mail in ballots were sent out last Monday, early voting starts on the coming Monday.
There are 2,700,182 registered voters in Colorado as of now. In addition, there are 944,162 so called “inactive” voters – these are folks who may be still registered, but did not vote in the 2010 election. They can go to either the election day or early voting polls, but they have to ask for a mail in ballot.
The Obama campaign has registered 150,000 new voters – this represents about 4% of the total eligible. If you follow the polls, the election in Colorado is in a statistical tie. However, if the Obama campaign can get those new voters to the polls, they will win the state.
Or at least we hope so.
It makes sense, but the GOTV campaign is focused on face to face contact. Once a vote is in, we stop talking to them. If it isn’t in, they will see another smiling Democrat at their door in another couple of days.
One thing I’ve been hearing on the door step and in phone calls is that the good voters of Colorado are fed up with all the attention they’ve been getting because they live in a swing state. Part of this is the result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Any one or group can start a Political Action Committee and spend as much money as they can raise. However, these PACs cannot coordinate with either the campaign or each other.
This means that, in addition to the Obama For America campaign, there are around four other Democratic leaning PACs who are contacting voters. When we get told to stop calling a voter, we do. However, this doesn’t mean that someone else who wants them to vote Democrat might not call.
I have no idea how many Republican PACs are operating in Colorado, but I expect their number to be higher.
I’m not necessarily sold on the idea that the PACs can sway a election. First, most advertising in all media is useless – perhaps influencing 1% of consumers. Second, the advertising is so extreme, most viewers ignore the message. Finally, the commercials are repeated so often that they quickly loose their effectiveness.
On the other hand, all the focus on Colorado may make its citizens sick of any and all election activity. The Citizen’s United decision probably won’t lead to PACs being able to “buy” elections. It may lead to citizens being terminally annoyed.