Targeting the Swing States
With razor-thin margins like this, the election comes down to turnout: increasing your voters' and decreasing the other guy's. Hence Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns and negative campaign advertisements.
Despite the way the President Bush has governed and his war-boosted popularity ratings, America is still a 50/50 nation. The 2004 election, like the 2000 election, will probably be very close and be decided based on turnout in a few key states. So it's nice to know there are at least three organizations out there gearing up to take on the Bush machine, which is aiming to raise a record-breaking $200 million.
- American Coming Together -- a coalition of progressive groups, labor, and environmentalists aiming to raise $75 million (including $10 million from George Soros) for GOTV efforts in the 17 states where the margin of victory was 7% or less: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- SEIU local 1199 -- the powerful New York State local of Service Employees International Union plans to raise $35 million to send 1,000 members to more than 12 swing states for a year to organize GOTV.
- The MoveOn Voter Fund -- a "527 PAC" associated with MoveOn. The MoveOn Voter Fund aims to raise $10 million for TV advertising in swing states. The ads will be designed to paint Bush as untrustworthy, anti-working family, and incompetent. The ads will run from winter 2003 until early spring 2004.
These are the only swing state efforts I know of now, but there will be others -- not to mention the conservative counter-efforts.
For in-depth analysis of the political situation in the swing states, check out the Swing State Project. They include the following states based on the formula (Gore + Nader) - (Bush + Buchanan) = +/- 10 points. That's a broader group that ACT is targeting. It includes: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa Louisiana, Maine (2nd CD), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.