It Both Increases Voter Turnout and Transforms the GOP.
Ought Donald Trump focus on getting the “lower propensity” voters to the polls. To ask the question answers it. Of course he should.
I hope Donald Trump already has thought of all that follows. He’s a billionaire. He’s very smart. He hires smart people to help him. Me? Just an attorney and former Army Intelligence officer with some relevant political campaign experience, common sense and strategic thinking. And some success in precinct-level party politics. Growing up in the 196os, I saw my dad and uncles back in Wisconsin win school board, city council, and county board elections – because they focused on what matters: person-to-person get out the vote (“GOTV” — not a new cable network) efforts.
Two things matter in winning the Republican nomination: getting the most caucus and primary votes and getting the most delegates to the national convention. Mr. Trump achieved that. Yay!
One thing matters in the general election. Getting the greatest number of voters possible to the polls to vote for you.
Trump, now, needs to focus on getting the most “lower information, lower propensity” Republican and conservative independents to the polls and into the Republican Party precinct-level committeeman ranks. As soon as possible. And the best way to do both is to get as many conservative Republicans into the Republican Party’s local precinct committeeman slots in each voting precinct.
Assuming Trump hasn’t thought of all that follows, I offer the following 3-Part Strategy, which was offered during the lead-up to and during the 2012 campaign, gratis (free, to the younger readers), to several of the Republican primary candidates (in one case face-to-face with the candidate (who will remain nameless — but he’s still on the radio), and his campaign team) and to our eventual nominee. None followed it. As a result, they lost.
This Strategy convinces “hard core” conservatives (some are in the #NeverTrump “tantrum” ranks) of the candidate’s conservative beliefs, creates a GOTV ground game at the voting precinct level and transforms the Republican Party into a conservative political powerhouse, and increases turnout of the “lower information, lower propensity” good, decent Republican (and conservative independent) voters who need an extra little, personalized “nudge” to get to the polls.
Why didn’t the candidates who were given this Strategy follow it? Despite that face-to-face meeting with the candidate and his team, in which he seemed to “get it,” one of his advisors later told me, while the candidate was still in the 2012 primary race, at a fund-raiser, where he didn’t say in his stump speech what I had told him to say, that, “The candidate just doesn’t say such things – the campaign directors are supposed to do this type of recruiting.” In other words, the Strategy suffered from two fatal flaws that doom many new ideas: It was infected with “Not-Invented-Here-itis” and “Nobody’s-Ever-Done-It-That-Way-itis.” (If the most important thing for GOTV needs to be said to supporters, why not have the candidate say it? Blank out.)
I’m convinced our eventual nominee in 2012, on the other hand, who also received this strategy and advice, did not want to grow the Republican Party at the grass roots with an infusion of conservatives into the precinct committeeman ranks because the last thing he wanted to have as a president was a reinvigorated, conservative Republican Party holding his feet to the fire.
Think about it. Stop. Think some more about it.
What a Trump presidency needs is exactly that: An infusion of conservatives into the precinct committeeman ranks creating a reinvigorated, conservative Republican Party apparatus that will support his presidency.
So, on to an overview of the 3-Part Strategy.
Part One: Convince the Grassroots Conservatives of Your Conservatism
First, an outreach to conservatives personally by Trump (and by surrogates who enjoy the trust of the grass roots conservatives) to convince them he’s now, really, truly, committed to his current conservative positions and will not flop back from where he flipped. Many conservative Republicans perceive Trump as less than a committed conservative. He needs to convince them otherwise.
I can help him do this.
Part Two: Ask That Conservatives Get Involved in Party Politics and GOTV
Second, an urgent, continual plea to every conservative audience that each of them get involved in Republican party politics as precinct committeemen and/or campaign volunteers, however they can, to help GOTV in their respective “political neighborhoods” – their voting precincts and as members of their local party committees — to increase the turnout of those Republican and center-right independents who have “stayed home” in the past. This works. It’s just common sense. Tell them to go to DonaldJTrump.com and click on Get Involved and sign up as a volunteer to help GOTV. I can help him make this happen.
Part Three: Use the Best GOTV Software to Efficiently & Effectively GOTV
Third, use the BEST GOTV software to coordinate his GOTV efforts with all the new, energized, brand new precinct committeemen and campaign volunteers in, at least, the “battleground” states. I recommend rVotes. The Dems have been using VoteBuilder since 2008. rVotes was developed by the same genius, Steve Adler, who developed VoteBuilder. rVotes has been up and ready to go in at least the following states (and has been used on some state-wide races in some of them): AZ, OH, FL, IA, MI, RI, VA. It has a successful track record. It has been offered to the RNC and the Romney campaign. It was rejected by both the RNC and the Romney campaign, I suspect, because it empowers the grassroots conservative precinct committeemen – it allows the precinct committeemen to communicate with one another, and the “powers that be” do not want that. Read everything at rvotes.com. Here we are going into the 2016 presidential election and other elections without any software from the RNC that precinct committeemen can use to communicate with one another to help GOTV in their precincts. While the Dems use best-in-class GOTV software, the RNC provides no such software to the precinct committeemen. Sabotage by the RNC? You be the judge.
Dave Brat used this Strategy, and rVotes, to rout incumbent Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary. That may be (I am being charitable) the reason the RNC will never license software like rVotes and provide it to the precinct committeemen.
I can help make this happen.
The Consultant Class’s Prescriptions Do Not Work and only Enrich Them
A Movement. Capitalize on “Moving” Movement Members Into Moving More Voters To The Polls
We Good, Decent People Have A Civic Duty To Vote
A “high level” marketing campaign consisting of signs, radio ads, TV ads, robo calls, etc. is not, in my opinion, going to overcome the Democrat re-election machine. Donald Trump needs to reinvigorate the American people with a spirit of civic duty to help their country in a time of crisis. He has called his campaign a “movement.” He is correct. Now he needs to build on that word – he needs to ask his supporters not only to go vote (which he is saying) but that they need to “move” into action to help “gently nudge” the good, decent, conservative Americans, who need that extra little reminder, to actually go vote.
He needs to stress the urgency of the situation. Scare them with the facts – as he has been. They are scared and they should be scared, and he should be upbeat. He should explain that good, decent Americans, organizing and uniting for real political action where they live, with just a little bit of effort from millions of Americans, who probably have never made a GOTV phone call before, can win this election and finally take back our government and reverse the idiotic policies of the socialist, progressive Democrats now destroying our republic.
And he needs to explain that the two BEST places to unite and organize are at their local Republican Party monthly committee meeting and with the campaigns of the conservative candidates of their choice.
To be most effective, this message needs to come from Donald Trump himself.
He’s the candidate. He’s the guy. He’s the leader of his campaign.
I stand ready to provide more detail to the Trump Campaign. I can make this happen.
Currently, our Party has about 400,000 precinct-level “voting member” slots, and only about 200,000 are filled.
Here is the sort of thing Donald Trump needs to say to every conservative audience:
I know many of you conservatives who have registered as Republican Party voters or identify as Republicans don’t believe I have any core conservative beliefs.
But here’s what I do know. And do advocate. Now.
First, we conservative Americans have to unite and organize to Get Out The Vote like never before if we are going to defeat the socialist Democrat nominee in November 2016.
Second, the best way for us conservatives to unite and organize to Get Out The Vote like never before to defeat the socialist Democrat nominee in November 2016 and the other Democrat candidates in all of the partisan races is to unite and organize inside a political party. A no brainer, right? And that political party is, obviously, our party, the Republican Party. And I don’t just mean registering to vote as a Republican. I mean more than that. I mean finding your local Republican Party committee — they usually meet monthly — and going to its meeting and finding out how you can volunteer to become a voting member of the Party. In most states, that’s called becoming a “precinct committeeman.” Regardless of the name, by becoming one — and it’s pretty easy — you get to not only vote for the local and county Party officers, but you might also be able to vote to endorse candidates in the all-important, traditionally-very-low-turnout primary elections.
Anyone from the Party ever told you about this? Any other candidates in the presidential primary told you about this? Any of those RNC mailers you receive spell this out for you like I just did? No? Well, it’s about time somebody did, and I’m telling you now.
About half of these “voting slots” in the Party, nationwide, are vacant right now. Again, has the Republican Party, the RNC, told you about this?!
And about one-third of the voting precincts in America have not even one Republican Party precinct committeeman slot filled. Not one. In about one third of the voting precincts in America, not one of these vital volunteer slots, to help Get Out The Vote and to be a liaison between the Republican voters in their precinct and the Party, is filled with a warm body.
In other words, we conservative Americans are going into battle against the Democrat Party, in our local precincts, at about half strength and with fully one third of our precincts having not even one Republican Party “boots on the ground” volunteer going door-to-door or making Get Out The Vote phone calls for our candidates.
This is mind-blowing! Why won’t the RNC tell you about this? Because they don’t want you! They do not want you in their Party!
Don’t get mad, get even!
As I said, our Republican Party is at half strength. It’s at its weakest where it needs to be strongest. At the neighborhood level. The precinct level. We conservative Republicans must change that. Will you please attend your next local Republican Party committee meeting? To learn how to volunteer to get involved as a precinct committeeman? It only takes a couple of hours a month. Will you attend your meeting and learn how to help Get Out The Vote? Did you know that about 35% of registered Republicans did not bother to vote in the 2008 election that John McCain lost to President Obama by just 53 to 47 per cent? We should have won that election!
I want to win the presidency. For you. For America. To get our country back on track. To Make America Great Again.
To Make America Great Again, we have to work together to keep it on the track of less government spending, less government regulation, and lower taxation. Seal our border. Repeal Obamacare. Make our military strong again. All that the Republican incumbents have failed to fight for.
“We the conservative people” need to re-energize the Republican Party with conservatives inside it. You will help me, no? And help your country in the process?
We have to do this locally. Together. Neighbor-to-neighbor. The best way to organize is via our own, respective, local Republican Party committees.
If we do it locally, we’ll win elections locally AND nationally! It only takes two or three hours a month. You can do this! You MUST do this for your kids and your grandchildren! Please do it for them. And for my campaign. Let’s Make America Great Again, together!
Please find your local committee and attend its meetings. You won’t be disappointed.
Thank you. And God bless America.
If Donald Trump can carry out parts one and two, then he has a shot of getting those 4 million or so conservatives – who refused to pull the lever for John McCain or Mitt Romney — to actually go vote for him.
But that is not enough. Because he also has to increase the turnout of the “lower information, lower propensity” voters. The BEST way to turn out those “voters in name only” and turn them into actual voters is with a personal contact – a personal phone call or knock at the door followed up with a personal drop at their door of an already-filled-out sample ballot they can use at the ballot box, and a short explanation about how important their vote truly is for a Trump victory.
This works. I have done it in my precinct for the last three election cycles and am doing it again this year. It’s just common sense.
Part Three: Use the Best GOTV Software to Efficiently & Effectively GOTV
As for the third part, Donald Trump should deploy rVotes GOTV software in at least the battleground states.
The best way for a Republican state committee to deploy rVotes is to make it available to all Republican candidates (the candidates for the presidency, the state-wide, U.S House and Senate, and state legislature races and big city mayor candidates, would pay a sliding scale licensing fee; all PCs and “small” county and city candidates would get to use it for free or a nominal fee). But if the state committee will not license it, the Trump campaign should license it for itself as it sees fit.
Using rVotes, Trump can then effectively and efficiently have the conservative Republican Party precinct committeemen, and his campaign volunteers, target the 35% or so of Republican and independent conservatives who fall into the “lower information, lower propensity” category and gently “nudge” them to go vote. This is how Dave Brat beat the pants off of Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary. Donald Trump can use this same strategy in the primary. And again in the general. If we conservatives, working together in our own precincts, just get 10% more of these “lower information, lower propensity” voters to the polls, our conservative candidates will win everywhere. [Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in rVotes.]
If Donald Trump follows this three-part Strategy, he’ll forever be known as the man who single-handedly inspired good, decent, conservative Americans to come to the aid of their country when they were needed by uniting and organizing politically. Locally. In their own voting precinct and on their own local Republican Party committee.
This Strategy is just basic American Civics in action. Unfortunately, the progressives have been successful in getting real Civics out of the government schools. When recruiting conservatives to become Republican precinct committeemen, the most common question I would get, even from some long-time Republican “activists,” was, “What’s a precinct committeeman?” We conservatives need to change this.
Trump can make this Strategy happen. And, thereby, win.
Daniel J. Schultz graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 and served as an Army Human Intelligence Officer. He now practices law. He has been a Republican Party precinct committeeman since 2007 and was a co-winner of the Conservative HQ Liberty Prize based on his e-book Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy. State-specific and other information relating to The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy can be found at http://precinctproject.us and http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com. Mr. Schultz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org