Will this really be that effective?

April 25, 2008

A contrarian perspective on Obama’s voter registration drive.

The internet is buzzing with the news that Barack Obama’s campaign is going to be launching a massive voter registration drive in all 50 states. While this is a publicity stunt more than anything, and a rather suspect attempt to try and create the illusion that he is anything more than a mere contender for the Democratic nomination, its does raise the question as to whether Obama can get any milage out of bringing unlikely voters to the poll. On the fact of it this would be a logical idea, because the Democrats overwhelmingly lead with young voters and ethnic minorities, two demographics that have poor turnout records. It is also something all parties should be doing, as a gift to the American political process. However, the groups that the Democrats have targeted are either already are more likely to vote than the average voter of comprable incomes or are simply unwilling to come to the polls. Although any increased turnout is good for borth Democracy and the Democratic party, the Democrats should not rely on getting new voters to the polls, but spend more time trying to win over existing voters. Indeed, according to one analysis in 2004, Kerry beat Bush by around 10% among first time voters, but Bush still won the election!


One comment

  1. Considering that Obama wouldn’t be winning the Democratic nomination if it weren’t for the new voters he’s registered… yes.

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