Via Senator Dean Heller’s (R-NV) election victory – from the Las Vegas Sun:
…They meticulously gathered the names of all newly registered independents—who were registering at a faster clip than either Democrats or Republicans for much of the season.
Then, they relentlessly called and visited those voters at their doorsteps—particularly in Washoe County.
Heller’s campaign also put a significant amount of the candidate’s time toward the effort. Twice a week, Heller sat on a conference call with hundreds of independent voters.
“Dean does not screen questions,” Abrams said. “Twice a week, for an hour and a half, independents got to hear from him directly about how he did not vote to end Medicare and they could ask him anything they wanted.”…
If you are in a State where Democrats outnumber Republicans – and they outnumber Republicans here in Nevada by more than 100,000 voters, as we are increasingly “Californicated” (idiots who flee the People’s Democratic Republic of California and then start voting in Nevada for the same insanity which killed California) – then you either have to massively increase GOP registration or go out and get Independents in a big way. Heller went and did that – winning Independents by 20 points which allowed him to scrape to a 12,000 vote victory (out of a million votes cast).
Around the country there has been a general fall-off of Democrat voter registration, a slight rise in GOP voter registration and a skyrocketing Independent registration. Independents are clearly key to winning – State by State and nationally in most areas. Heller took the time to carefully court the Independent vote and wound up winning in a State that Obama carried by nearly 6 points (which, for a bit of good news, is only half his 2008 margin).
Heller’s campaign concentrated heavily on themes designed to appeal to Independents – I remember the barrage of ads which asserted Heller’s willingness to work across the aisle to solve problems, a key desire for Independents who appear to be Independent precisely because they’re sick of the partisan games of government. The lesson for us to take away is that Democrats won in 2012 by deliberately emphasizing partisanship – they relentlessly worked on racial, gender and class animosities in order to turnout their base in as large a number as possible. It worked – but it won’t work if the GOP can simply bring more voters to the polls because we have a message which appeals to a broader sector of the American population.
Democrats figure they’ve got is sewn – that they’ve got a model which ensures them victory again and again and again. They do – if we keep playing the game as we have. If we change the rules, we’ll catch them flat-footed. Heller points the way. Let’s Roll.