Republicans GOTV - Nobody Does it Better by Mitch E.Perry10/31/06
Democrats remain excited â€“ and some would say overconfident â€“ going into next weekâ€™s Mid Term Elections. But news today that Republicans are doing better than ever in early voting and absentee balloting is being met with some concern.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that in congressional districts from Ohio to New Mexico to Arizona and Florida, Republicans report that their Get Out The Cote organization is gaining traction a week before election day.
IN 2 Florida Districts that are considered up for grabs â€“ the 13th and 16th â€“ the GOP is ahead in both early voting and absentee balloting. Robert Waechter is Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?which is unusualâ€?) Time Magazine also reported on its website Tuesday that absentee ballot requests and returns, closely tracked by the Party, are meeting or exceeding past levels for Republicans, in key states and districts. Republican officials say White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is scrutinizing this data with the same intensity that he followed metrics like voter registration earlier in the cycle. For at least 68 races, he has been getting reports once a week on the number of voters registered, phone calls completed and doors knocked on. Now, he's getting a second report on the number of absentee ballots requested, absentee ballots returned and early votes cast. " Sid Dinerstein is the Chairman of the Palm Beach Republican Party. He says heâ€™s heard reports from the state party that have gone to the candidates â€“ about the positive numbers for the GOP regarding Absentee ballots in particular (roll tape#2 o.q. â€œlargely Republicanâ€?) There has been much reporting â€“ more like speculation â€“ that Republican voters â€“ due to the scandal involving former South Florida Congressman Mark Foley, are not as enthusiastic about going to the polls this year. But Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein says he never bought into the idea that Republicans would become massively apathetic (roll tape#3 o.q.â€?the best Congressmanâ€?) That would be Joe Negron, the former state Legislature who is now running for Congress as the GOP candidate in the 16th District â€“ the Mark Foley seat. In Sarasota, the national Republican Party is pulling out all of the stops to keep the GOP Congressional seat being vacated by Katherine Harris in Republican hands, which it has been for the last 30 years.
But Car dealer owner Vern Buchanon has come into the General election as a severely flawed candidate, and Democrat Christine Jennings has done well in recent weeks. Jennings has released internal polls showing her up by as many as 10 percentage points, but Sarasota GOP head Robert Waechter says Buchanon is now surging (roll tape#4 o.q.â€?Christine Jenningsâ€?) A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, Stacie Paxton, dismissed Republican claims about their success with early voting and absentee balloting, saying, â€œI donâ€™t think their number add upâ€?.