[getting out the vote]

Topic: Politics
For a long time now, I’ve had the sense that the Democratic base is way more motivated in this election than is the Republican base. Bush’s radicalism has unified Democrats, pushing up numbers and involvement during the primaries and leading to one of the smoothest, least divisive conventions I can remember. Dems still feel cheated by the 2000 election, they’re furious over the exploitation of 9/11 and deeply unhappy with the Iraq war, and they’re passionate about wanting Bush out. Their enthusiasm shows in the innovative ways they’ve gone about campaigning: raising tons of money from a huge number of donors online, taking full advantage of 527s, using MeetUp.com to organize, etc.

Meanwhile, a lot of Republicans are unhappy with Bush’s performance. The fiscal conservative crowd is aghast at the giant deficits, the neocons are panicky about the poor execution of their grand Middle Eastern dreams, the military is feeling put upon and ill used, the libertarians are uncomfortable with the Patriot Act, and Christian right is disappointed at how little action there’s been toward a more faith-based America now that one of their own is sitting in the Oval Office. The Bush campaign has had to vet crowds for loyalty and has shown little creativity beyond inventive smears.

Until now, this was just a vague feeling. But according to today’s New York Times, Democrats are way ahead of Republicans in registering voters in the battleground states of Florida and Ohio, and there are indications that they’re ahead elsewhere as well. This effort could make the difference.