It always makes me nervous for Republicans to be so giddy headed into an election. As we’ve seen from the President, overconfidence is a bad thing. Scott Walker could still lose. People must turn out to vote.
Today is election day in Wisconsin and if you are a RedState Reader in that state, go vote.
One of the things I hate about special elections is the absolute intellectual crap that will come from pundits on television tonight and tomorrow. Democrats who claimed the recall was a rejection of Republican overreach nationally now claim the recall cannot be interpreted as a reflection on national politics. Republicans are the opposite.
I remember being on CNN for several of the New York special elections in Republican districts that went Democrat. The Democrats on TV with me were gleeful that they were harbingers of big Democrat wins in 2010. It was exactly opposite when Anthony Weiner’s seat went GOP. Suddenly the Democrats would have you believe it was insignificant while the Republican would have you believe otherwise.
Through them all, I’ve maintained that special elections tell us very little about national politics. But there is one area where I think Wisconsin can show us a great deal about the national electoral outlook headed into November.
While 2008 was proclaimed the year of technology in politics, it really wasn’t. Even the Obama campaign did not use technology as much as they would have you believe. 2012 is different. Both teams are using it and the GOP is playing catch up.
After the 2010 election cycle, GOP donors who had been pessimistic about 2012 started funding elaborate technological improvements in Republican get out the vote efforts (GOTV). The beauty of the Wisconsin recall is that the Democrats have handed the GOP a live test to make sure its technology adapted GOTV works. Without this recall, the GOP would be live testing its new tech on election day in November. That would not give them time to work out the bugs.
Now, in Wisconsin, an army of grassroots activists is going door to door testing systems to get Republican voters out to the polls. If Scott Walker wins handily, it will be a sure signal that the technology worked as intended. If he loses, the GOP will have to work overtime to fix its ground game in November.
One added benefit for the GOP is that thanks to the constant recall campaigns in Wisconsin, they have heavily organized the state down to the city block in city and town after city and town. If the state is very close in November, we can thank the unions for forcing the Republicans and Wisconsin Tea Party to get very, very detailed on their GOTV efforts.