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About that Democratic ground game in Fla

Published Oct. 2, 2014

Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 2:51pm

The folks at America Votes, a coaltion of 32 Democratic-leaning labor and other advocacy groups in Florida, are gearing up to defy conventional wisdom that says Democrats tend to stay home in midterm elections. Here's a memo from Josh Geise, Florida State Director of America Votes:

Date: October 1, 2014

Re: Progressive Field Activity in Florida

While ballots are just beginning to drop across the state of Florida, independent progressive groups are already operating in full-swing with a coordinated, high-impact mobilization effort to turn out voters in the midterm election.

We know what is being said about progressive voter turnout in midterm elections, and we agree – turnout is the single most important factor that will determine progressive victory or defeat this year. In 2010, our voter data file showed Republicans made up 45% of the electorate while Democrats were only 39% in a state were Democrats held a registration advantage of 5%. We've known turnout would be progressives' central challenge in 2014 for a long time, and we've been working to develop and test strategies to boost turnout for just as long.

Strong coordination is the key to addressing the turnout challenge head-on and turning our registered voters into actual voters in November. This cycle, Florida's progressive organizations are operating at historic levels for a midterm election– both in terms of dollars and reach. Progressives are using cutting-edge data and targeting tools housed in a shared voter file to reach crucial progressive voters – those with a high likelihood of supporting progressive candidates but a lower propensity to vote. Turnout messages are driven by research and field experiments to maximize our effectiveness.

Our plan is strategic, streamlined and impactful. The numbers tell the story:

ï'· Targeting 1.5 million voters identified with analytic modeling

ï'· Executing more than 2.5 million door-knocks

ï'· Raised nearly $8 million for door-to-door canvass operations

ï'· Raised $15 million in overall turnout program, including direct mail and phone calls

Midterm electorates are undoubtedly much different than presidential year electorates – but progressives are ready. Our coordinated activity is heavily clustered around the areas in which progressive turnout lagged in 2010. For example, a large portion of our activity is focused in the I-4 corridor and southeast Florida, and we've been heavily focused on Broward and Miami Dade Counties – which lagged statewide turnout by more than 6% in 2010.

We know that when voters turn out, progressives win. That's why progressives will be working tirelessly over the next 34 days to turn out our voters.

About America Votes and Our Partners

America Votes is the coordination entity for voting rights, issue advocacy and electoral work among our 32 Florida partners. Our coalition works to advance progressive causes through trusted messengers who connect with voters in a ways that is often difficult for political candidates and parties. These partners include issue advocacy groups like NextGen Climate and FL Planned Parenthood PAC; labor unions such as AFSCME, FEA and SEIU; and community groups rooted in neighborhood organizing, like Organize Now and Florida New Majority.