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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Kochs Bolstered Trump's GOTV

After hearing (and saying myself) for months about how Hillary's ground game was going to easily outperform Trump's, I still was scratching my head yesterday about how Trump not only turned out his voters, but also changed the minds of Obama voters. TPM has some info on how Trump may have been able to measure up to Clinton in that regard:

Despite loud pronouncements from Charles Koch that his network would not support Trump, the Kochs’ massive political operation worked over many months to turn out Republican voters in key states. Above all, AFP was deeply involved in get-out-the-vote efforts, especially in the critical swing states of Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Publicly available numbers suggest that AFP’s grassroots organizing made a real difference – and indirectly helped Trump, who had little campaign capacity of his own. In Wisconsin, for instance, AFP claims that it reached over 2.5 million voters in phone banking and canvassing efforts. In North Carolina, AFP claimed over 1.2 million calls and 120,000 door-to-door efforts, or nearly the entire reported margin of victory for Trump. And in Pennsylvania, AFP claims it made over 2.4 million phone calls and knocked on over 135,000 doors, more than twice Trump’s margin of victory in that state. AFP’s grassroots efforts were especially pronounced in Florida, where AFP boasts that its people knocked on a record-breaking one million doors throughout the state to help re-elect Senator Marco Rubio. Hillary Clinton lost the state by just over 100,000 votes. In all four of these states AFP helped to re-elect the incumbent Republican Senator and make important down ballot gains. Obviously, given what we know about the decline of split ticking voting, most of the same citizens AFP mobilized for state and Congressional contests also cast ballots for Donald Trump.
That would certainly explain a lot, if true. Once all data is available, we need to figure out exactly what each campaign's ground game did, and who initiated it (the candidates, the parties, outside groups like AFP), and see what it all added up to.

And I don't even have to say how awful this is for democracy...