GOTV = GTFO January 3, 2018 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Please help me track down the various links people have posted in the MeFi politics megathread that argue that general, across-the-board voter turnout is the key to defeating Republicans in elections.

Over the many, many iterations of the election megathread, lots of theories have been put forth about how to make Republicans lose in 2018 and 2020. The one I've found most convincing is that, given that the Dems actually have more supporters among the population, getting out the vote across the board is the key to their winning elections.

I'd like to find the various links people have put up in favor of this argument, because I want to show them to local anti-R orgs I work with as we plan our strategies this year. But dang are those threads long and numerous, and my Google-fu is failing me. If you posted comments linking to the GOTV argument (or bookmarked them), could you kindly point me to where they live? I'd also gratefully accept a link to a successful Google search that nails this down.

I'll continue to do my own homework by poring over the threads and re-Googling; can y'all help me out in the meantime?
posted by Rykey to MetaFilter-Related at 1:35 PM (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite



David Leonhardt, New York Times: If Liberals Voted...
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:15 PM on January 3


(Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but some people may be tempted to stay home because their local candidate isn't far enough to the left. But they should take heart and show up anyway! The greater a Democrat's margin of victory, the more progressive they are when they take office.)
posted by Jpfed at 2:25 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


If everyone voted, progressives would win. Note: this writer is a little skeptical of GOTV campaigns.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:22 PM on January 3


The confidence often exhibited around here in the superiority of GOTV vs persuasion I don't think is really reflected in the academic community or campaign strategists, although both communities have had fads for both approaches at different times, and mobilization does seem to be on the upswing these days among campaigns, though possibly just as a result of the suitability of the data we have to this approach. But in any case, it's very much still a live debate, and my own feeling is that many of the confident claims in the power of mobilization are as misguided as the recent confident predictions of election outcomes. We really know much less than we think.

Here are few essays for general audiences that I've seen or googled at various points:

This overview also links to a few other sources that are worth exploring.
These two discuss the ways that data availability affects strategy.
This one discusses how the preference for mobilization vs persuasion may differ between the two sides even in the same region.

There are also zillions of academic papers on the topic, though I'm not an expert on this so I imagine there are all sorts of canonical papers I don't know.

Here's a handbook chapter by a major academic talking about the nuances and tradeoffs between the two general strategies.
• And here are a few recent papers trying disentangle these effects given that in the real world, they are totally mixed and affected by the very districts and preferences they are trying to affect. This one uses rain as a pseudo-experiment, this one uses accidental exposure to ads as a pseudo-experiment, and this one uses a fancy statistical model to try to disentangle it all. I wouldn't fully believe any of them, but they show how tricky figuring this stuff out is, and how unlikely it is that anyone who claims to be sure about the power of GOTV isn't just another victim of Dunning-Kruger.
posted by chortly at 11:47 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


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