"It's something of a puzzle, this electoral politics thing."
October 28, 2014 10:44 AM   Subscribe

The Persuadables
How strategists see the 2014 Senate battlefield, state by state, featuring exclusive voter data.
posted by davidstandaford (3 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The majority of voters, often well more than 80 percent in the states we examined, had highly predictable partisan loyalties. In these cases, the question is never how an individual will vote, but if he or she will. The work of converting non-voters into voters is known as mobilization or GOTV, for “get out the vote,” in which the challenge is not changing minds of active citizens, but modifying the behavior of unreliable ones.

Judging anecdotally from what's been happening at the polls in Tennessee in early voting, "modifying the behavior of unreliable ones" -- or unmotivated ones -- means doing everything possible to make them stay home and not go to the polls at all, or if they do go, to make it as difficult to vote as possible. This anti-mobilization tactic isn't addressed in this otherwise very well-done article at all.
posted by blucevalo at 11:57 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Perhaps someday the predictive models will be so sophisticated, and the campaign strategies so routinized, that we'll be able to do away with this meddlesome business of actually voting. They can just map out the half-dozen or so political issues that define voter constituencies, apply the models, and choose the victor based on the results. No more gaffes! No more attack ads! No more voter suppression tactics!
posted by twirlip at 12:55 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Twirlip, you might be interested in reading the short story "Franchise," by Isaac Asimov, because that's the basic premise of it.
posted by Katrel at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

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