Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not buying the first time voter hype...

In what should be titled, "When will they ever learn" we see once again presidential candidates are basing part of their hoped for successes on voters who have never voted before. The track record for such hopes should alone be one that creates caution. While it is of course smart for any presidential campaign to do voter outreach and encourage first time voters to support them, reading things like this article, For Democrats, Iowa Still Up for Grabs points out that beyond trying to use the numbers for hype and spin:
And despite widespread impressions that Obama is banking on unreliable first-time voters, Clinton depends on them heavily as well: About half of her supporters said they have never attended a caucus. Forty-three percent of Obama's backers and 24 percent of Edwards's would be first-time caucus-goers. Previous attendance is one of the strongest indicators of who will vote.

It might not work for them. As the article points out, Hillary's campaign that shows how easy it is to caucus, might just work, but if it does and the stats show she wins Iowa in part due to first time caucusers, it will demonstrate how much effort it takes to encourage first time voters to act.

Intent is a wonderful thing, and I'm sure many of those asked intend to vote, actually having them show up and vote for you is the hard part. That's something other candidate before have counted on and discovered did not happen.

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