The Quipper

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Closer, closer....

Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect (of which I am now a subscriber) blog TAPPED says:

...Democrats have been following ... an utterly inexplicable course of action... Democrats outsourced a good chunk of their ground game to the 527s in 2004. This could have some serious dowsides for the party over the long term... The Republican National Committee ran its 2004 ground operations through its coordinated campaign with Bush-Cheney '04... Democrats, on the other hand, outsourced a great deal of their ground operation to 527s, such as America Coming Together, while the DNC spent millions upon millions on television ads... Thanks to this arrangement -- almost the inverse of the strategic allocation of resources on the Republican side -- the DNC won't be able to use a substantial chunk of the voter contact information gleaned in the '04 race to get ready for '06 or '08... [A] couple of Democratic field organizers... said it's definitely something that puts Democrats at a disadvantage. But... little that could be done about it in the past election cycle because no one could have known in advance that John Kerry and the DNC would have such substantial resources at their disposal, and without the 527s, they still would have had almost no ground game in some states until just the summer before the election.

The reason for this is that democrats rely on paid activists to run the ground game, and republicans primarily on volunteers. They use soft slush money to fund their base other ways, i.e. through groups like GOPUSA, "PR" spending with government funds, Scaife-funded think-tanks, etc.

Hopefully part of Dean's changes at the DNC will be use less hard money during campaigns to keep people eating, and get the outsiders to fund these people between elections so they can take a "leave of absence" to go volunteer for the campaign...