This month's column for the local newspaper:
Here we are just two months before the presidential election. I thought it best to update readers on the all important issue of campaign organization and voter mobilization that I raised last month. Sadly, the news is not encouraging.
Both the New York Times and Politico report a surge in new voter registrations for Republicans in key states. That’s the good news. But the bad news is that in these states Democrats still have a significant registration advantage and the new voters Trump has brought into the process thus far may not be enough to overcome that. While Trump is attracting new voters, it is imperative that they are registered in time. Recall that two of Trump’s own children, Eric and Ivanka failed to vote for their father in the New York primary because they failed to register in time. The deadline for registering for the fall election is October 8th.
You don’t think that Hillary Clinton is just leaving this to chance do you? She’s following a very successful plan implemented first by Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. That plan requires numerous campaign field offices and operatives in key states. Their job, to register voters and then make sure they get to early voting centers or turn out on November 8th.
The PBS program NewsHour reviewed the number of Trump field offices and compared it to the number for Hillary. They found that as of mid August Hillary had 291 offices and Trump only 88. A more than 3 to 1 advantage for Hillary. In Florida, an absolute must win state for Trump, Hillary has 34 offices. Trump has one. With a current surge in new Republican voters in Florida, imagine how many more Trump could add if he actually had offices and staff in place to maximize that number. Every vote will be necessary to win.
It’s a similar story in other key states. I have all the organizing details at Mike’s America. Polling updates to start soon.
Trump is counting on the Republican National Committee to help but that might be risky considering how poor relations between the Trump campaign and other Republican entities have been. Even with full GOP help Trump is far behind Hillary in organizational strength.
Trump’s campaign may be slow off the mark but there’s nothing to stop ordinary citizens from organizing their own efforts. Weston Imer, a 12 year old boy in Jefferson County, Colorado opened a Trump campaign office with the help of his mom Laurel to get things moving in that key state.
Why not follow young Weston’s example? Call the Board of Elections and request a batch of voter registration forms. Then visit with friends, family and co-workers who may not be registered and ask them to do so. Don’t just hand them the form. Ask them to fill it out and hand it back to you and you return it to the Board. Call friends and family in key states and urge them to register and vote. We all have that one relative (Uncle Ken) who might be a bit hard to persuade so spell out the bottom line. The American dream is being stolen from us and this election may be our last chance to turn things around.