tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 30, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EST
way that you expect a rest of the electorate debate. in ohio, we were worried about that in the presidential, where you could register on the same day and voted the exact same -- the exact same time. the first time they had ever done that, and we were free doubt about a lot of things in the mccain world, but we were very concerned about that. the democrats are traditionally much better than this than we are. our volunteers are not accustomed to this. what we do to combat it? we would look to see if there was a huge spike where they would split the sample and look good early voters and the election date voters, and is there some differential in how they are turning out "to mark -- turning out? . would that be important?
go ahead. >> if you are looking at polling and where early voting happens and you see 50% and you have 50% of half of those votes you know what your target needs to be. >> you don't need to make it up. if you are ahead this is as much of a butt kicking as we can afford or if it is not worth it, this is what we have to make up. >> in the same vein, if you determine strong support among groups that the vote by early mail, young people or so, you can concentrate on absentee ballot efforts. >> that is the problem. if we think seniors are for us in the early vote and no one is voting early and they are voting for someone else. that is a light bulb moment early enough to do something other than the day after.
on the plane on the way home from phoenix no one said bomber but one person -- you don't worry about the last -- should have been someplace else. i went and threw up. i don't know how much you are talking about this but legal strategies. ohio is a place where the election day is a place where you get these voters, a bunch of lawyers, and the sure they stopped judges from doing dumb things and make sure polling places are operating as they should. make sure you are not seeing a voter irregularities. this is very much opposed to thousand. these teams of lawyers are ready. ohio is a good example. people are registering and
voting. there is a very broad set of circumstances where someone was able to register early and vote on that day. we were concerned they doing it -- you can do a ton of anything. we went to make sure our lawyers were there. this is the second best thing to your voter file in terms of campaign planning, calendar. when do we need to start recruiting so we have people who are ready to go? it won't happen and there will be voting places where it is happening weekly. there are some ideas as you are right in your campaign plan and. some things to think about so you are ready to go. i included this chart. i am doing some work on someone who is running for governor. the great candidate. we were having this back and forth about the early vote. he said i want to know when
people vote. when do we start delivering these messages? the early vote, we have to start earlier. i don't know. we said ok, what happens is may 10th is the day that people will get their ballots. the immediate week after people get them, 7% return their ballots. then it is a slow climb up until may 31st. a quarter of the people vote and then half of the people cast their ballot. it is important to know what this trajectory is. this is california where it is becoming had that for people to do this. they hold their ballots longer than people anticipate. this is another thing to think about. if you are seeing it is not matching this something is going on. you need to figure out what that
is and why it is happening. that was interesting. this is your normal time line. you start quiet and as you get close to election day you are crescendoing so your delivering the most messages, pound per square look inge, yinch, you ar trajectory. fabulous graphics. different from the al gore movie. i want to talk about voter policies. this is really important. voter files are the most boring things to talk about but the most interesting things to work with. i am a total data nehr deke.
i built the voter files. it is really boring until you start to use it and then you use it and it is very dynamic and helps you strategically. when you talk about direct voter contact, part of it is going to be turning out to voters. you do things they you would never do on tv. to you ever look over your interesting campaigns? you see mail pieces that are like -- holy toledo! no one would ever do that. the first campaign i ever ran was in a virginia. do you know where that is?
my very nerdy family asked how you ended up in the south. halfway between d.c. and charleston, a strong community, a small town. people ask me where are you people from? detroit. detroit, virginia. never heard of that. high am running this campaign, 25 years old. i don't know of from down but i'm figuring out and we're getting beaten in the primary. i did her mother's back surgery, door to door. i don't care. let's go. anyway. a really nice guy but kind of moderate and pretty conservative in the republican primary and our opponents was a right wing w
wackadood wackadoodle. he had his grassroots people who were totally organized. every day in the local paper there was a different letter about how he was going to raise taxes and none of this was true. he wasn't going to be a speaker even though he was pro-life and anti-tax. he was right on all the stuff but it wasn't his style. every day you would read the paper and we are getting the crap kicked out of us. some guy opens his door sobbing. this is kind of weird. he goes do you know what is going on? we said know. there were these kids in colorado who went into the school and shot all these kids. totally horrible. it was columbine. these kids were in second grade
or something or not even close. please tell me it was at least junior high. it is not really appropriate to knock on doors. we had a forum, we walked in and it would be 700 people from the evangelical christian church and four people from the country club and they would be cheering for the other guy asking outlandish questions. i was sitting next to the governor of virginia. one of these guys was there. why is this a better campaign? somebody asks him about columbine, what would you do to keep this from happening in the
future? if teachers were allowed to carry guns, something like this wouldn't have happened. of course in total bunker mentality, he is going to say something on guns that people shouldn't be carrying guns -- this hold gun thing totally going over my head that he ted -- he said teachers should be armed. no one thinks that. everyone has at least one teacher who -- i really wanted the gym teacher or a shop teacher packing heat. i would have been dead. he really said that. i don't think so. i don't think he really said that. now there is a dispatch reporter who is 125 years old and still writes. his name is something like tyler whitney. a real southern guy. he says it again. he really said it.
i have to ask. do i understand him correctly? he said it last night at this other forum. he goes and writes about it. we have it on paper. this is fantastic. we have to say it one more time and then we will use it. it is really in my candidate's backyard. you only have to drive two blocks and will be fine. i am handing out shrimp cocktails. there are a bunch of -- really her bridge buddies and stuff. all of these moderate republican women. another reporter asks -- he goes further. every teacher should carry a gun, the only way to protect our kids and a room -- country club women -- there was a moment of a
total vacuum because everyone gasped. the reporter stands up and walks out. i'm very calm least that they're trying to have my poker face which i am sure was like this. we designed this -- it was so -- such a reaction, so much more so on cable-tv and all the stuff. we had one piece of mail that had a big hand gun on the front and our opponent's name was mike shar charm charmin. this is something you could never do on tv. if you did it on tv it would be what is wrong with him? we did this in a rural area. does anyone know the difference between mail delivery in a rural area or a city area? can you think of the difference? they actually have a mailman. the opposite of that. in the rural areas people have a
post office box. in a rural farm community people go to the post office at what time of day? really early in the morning. as i found out. that morning i was running late. i got in at 8:45 and the phone was ringing. the only person who calls me is my campaign people and they know to call my cell phone. i picked up the phone and it was -- i can and understand the person. they are hysterically screaming at me about how could i do this to mike charmin. this is an atrocity. what are they talking about? all of a sudden, he said this, we have a three newspaper citations. i am sorry you feel that way, i hang up and your voice mailbox is full. 700 messages from all over central virginia. about how atrocious this was.
i will say that that election was 3500 people voting in the republican primary. 25,000 people voted in the republican primary. you can do things in the mailbox to the right kinds of voters because the file -- the whole other thing on direct mail. .. are people who traditionally vote early. why do we want to think about those guys? uniquely. these are the people you should spend the least amount of time and energy on because they traditionally vote early, this is their habit. they're already supporting you. you don't need to persuade them and you don't need to spend a lot of energy turning them out. these are the two purposes of
your mail and your phone program. the second thing you want to think about is low propensity voters. these are people who sometimes get confused. it's the tuesday in november where you're supposed to vote because that's the only vote presidential years or they got confused this is a municipal election or a primary. oftentimes they're working on a bond or other sort of issue. low propensity voters are those who don't vote every time. you need to spend a lot more time on turning them out. these are low propensity people who you know support your candidate or issue. the senior citizen center where somebody might not actually cast a ballot unless somebody helps them or maybe you do a targeted program towards moms that work outside of the home. find those people you can turn into early voters. the last thing you want to think about is your persuasion universe. that's two separate things.
and an election day persuasion universe. to give you a little bit of visual on this, so you have your voter file. it is a big block of all yourers. this is the favorite part of my presentation. so the second thing you have is people who vote early, just broad, people who vote early. next thing you want to think about is, who are your candidate's voters? that divvies up a little bit further down. so traditional early voters that support your candidate, your low propensity voters. so again, you don't have a really do a lot of effort to turn these people out. you don't the are not going to be early voter and, you're going to have to turn them into it. these are high effort kind of cubes.
your persuasion universe, the early part of your persuasion universe, and your election day. election day and early part of persuasion. that is split up into two separate things. who are the people we're going to try to talk to, you want to divvy up the voter file this way. if your block is that much covered by people who vote for you, you win. okay. i'm going to show you, this is broadly what we did on the campaign and what we did close to mccain. at some point i had paying attention to mail and phones because we were changing our television every 24 hours. so that was effective. pardon? never mind. >> [inaudible]. >> no. interesting like post-election. people what would you have done differently. i remember so many times between like the beginning of the financial melt down and when things started to stablize i thought, why did we do that? it was such a crisis i think we probably think that some
days about elections we've lost. sometimes it is good to lose because you learn a lot. so early voting requests. what we did, we mailed three requests to our broad universe of supporters to vote early. the short case, every republican got three requests by mail and three follow-up phone calls to register as early voter. so we divvied those up. they got three requests we may have done 10 or 15 different pieces they got three requests on specific topics. we used micro targeting, data file and we knew who the people were. our opponent will raise taxes if you don't vote early your taxes will go up. this is really important vote. then they got a phone call. the other we did volunteer
specific drives like i was talking about with women. okay. so i want to truck a little about time lines. this is another fascinating graphic. stolen directly from a, xcel spreadsheet i used to manage our mail program. you see that the first week in october, this is when absentees, the ballots dropped. you see, project number 2-a, 3-a. 9-a. what you can see we basically divvied up. this is all our persuasion. we divvied up into two universes. i'm not trying to make something more complicated. what i'm trying to say this is simple concept a lot of people don't do but it is really, really important. mail piece 2, with un2-a and see unverse 2-b. 2-a dropped first week in october. 2-b dropped second week in october. you're staring at me with blank stares. you're trying to make this complicated. this is not complicated. when you're thinking about mail universe, go through
identify who votes early and who votes on election day, split them into two groups and create two different drop dates for your mail. not complicated. but, people look at this, why is it so complicated. it is not. we dropped the 7th piece the second week to early voters and we dropped it the third week, you know down here to election day votedders. and on and on and on. not complicated. people in california this is the first time anyone ever done it this way. then you're just dumb, right? trying to point out, this is really, really not complicated but a very important way gosh we can divvy it up make sure people voting early are getting our messaging early. and people voting late are getting our messaging late. okay. traditional early voters, again, this is, your persuasion mail should drop prior to beginning of early vote. in states where early vote is happening by mail you can know the exact date when voters cast their ballot.
did you guys know that the? another fascinating part of the data world. can buy from vendor will collect it for you. you can have volunteers collect it for you from county clerks you can get list of people who already sent their ballot in. same thing you do, you guys talked about election day operations where somebody stands or you done it at volunteer, stand up at voting place, they call out john smith's name and call john smith off precinct list, on and on. you can start that with early vote. why is this helpful? we talked about at beginning, why is it helpful to do this? >> saves money -- [inaudible] your supporter already voted, you don't have to focus on that person anymore? >> right. you have ever shrinking universe of people to turn out as soon as somebody casts ballot. you sleep easier. john smith voted. i'm so happy. all right. everything is, an effort to make people vote as soon possibly as soon as they have their ballot, right.
volunteer activities minute ballots drop, our volunteer stops i.d.ing people and stop trying to recruit people. they only call list of people who have ballot in their house few weeks bug the crap out of them to send their ballot in. i know we talked to you 18 times. you still have not voted what is wrong with you? they had a script that didn't say that, that is pretty much what they were saying right? again, tracking the data so you know the exact date when they have their ballot and number one objective make sure they turn it out, turn out and actually cast it. in-person voters i think obama campaign kicked our butt on this effort. it can be a volunteer activity t can be paid, it can be coalition-based. somebody said students before. mccain students effort was pretty sad compared to the obama student effort. so i mean that is something where, on a campus, very easy to tell people where to vote. very he is to arrange rides. large group of people who
you know support you, kind of like not very specific targeting but kind of broad targeting. wow!, we're winning 85% of voters under 30. let's go find. they all live this. come get in our car and go vote. even if you turn out a bunch of people, take some people, drive republicans to the ballot place too, you're mostly turning out your voters so it is a really good effort. most important thing understanding what you're allowed to do. i don't know, in year 2000 you guys were all still in elementary school, right? no. not you? makes me feel better. i will now only speak to you. in 2000 i was working in wisconsin, another near victory. we lost, i was working for bush campaign and we lost there by 5,000 votes. one of the things that was really interesting in the early voting stage there was actually very broadly published national story. a woman from new york, manhattan social item, went out with the campaign and gore's campaign handing out
cigarettes to homeless people which was kind of awesome for us. best news story. handing out cigarettes, loading these people into vans, driving them to voting place and casting early vote. you can't give somebody anything more more than a dollar. best part about it, it looked so, so fabulously, tabloid, she was in fur handing out cigarettes and interviewed her outside manhattan apartment. i was trying to make homeless people feel better. or you were bribing them. making sure you know what you can do. you can give somebody a ride but can't pay them. give somebody something to eat but not over a certain dollar amount. make sure you know what you can do to drive somebody to the polls is important. okay. i want to talk a little bit about polling because we talked about it broadly before i want to make sure you understand this. the example i like to point out is, we are in the waning days of the mccain campaign and trying to figure out where we spend our resources. numbers started suddenly
looking good in colorado. we went back and looked, i can't remember exact numbers but we ran the math, basically figured out because of early vote and how bad we were losing early vote, too many people had cast their ballot for the remaining number of voters to overcome what we were already losing by. everyone, colorado numbers are looksing better. people already voted in instant push button polls like rasmussen and those kind of things every day, those numbers were looking better. if you already voted you weren't answering poll question. all was left, six old ladies who live in aspen going to vote for us. so we were, we actually pulled plug on colorado. it was really controversial. a lot of reporters asked us. ly state you have a chance in. we knew we couldn't overcome that challenge. in terms of strategic thinking on a campaign allocating resources last minute that isly important thing. that was probably a dollar a week, expenditure on television that we pulled. we got to, drive it into ohio where we still have a
chance. wrongly but we still got a chance. you have to be able to laugh about it. intention to vote early. this is important before somebody said, part of why you use polling information to do this, identify what kind of people are going to vote early. even on your earliest surveys saying do you intend to vote absentee and intend to vote early, it helps you because what kind of voters are likely to vote early. what kinds of people can we target our message to vote early. where are places we do specific coalition-driven drive? is there someplace to get hispanics to vote early because of a issue they care about or some way they're all grouping together in a survey. okay. ballot question, and i have a little example of this, as you're approaching election day, will identify how much you have to do on election day. do you have a significant lead or not. are you behind? what do you have to do? so, all right, so i did sort of a fake, fake math here
for you. made up all these numbers. so this is not actually taken from anything real. say 42 of the vote going to your candidate and 42% is going to the opponent and 18% undecided. this is sometime during early voting. early vote question, 25% of people have cast a ballot. 75% of people have not cast their ballot. neil is here. i saw him when i was watching c-span. he is my old boss. all right. one of the things your cross tabs will do, split out. you will look at ballot score between people who voted and who haven't voted. of 25% who voted say 38% are voting for you and 62% are voting for your opponent. so you're way behind. of 75% who haven't voted is reflecting your major ballot score, 42-40 with 18% undecided. so, now you can map it and, so you're behind, right? your opponent has 15% of the vote of what, trying to get
to their 50% plus one. you have about 10% towards 50% plus one goal. you want to know how we figured that out? who is the math whiz. want to tell us? >> i have a general idea. >> want me to tell you? i'll tell you. >> i don't know if i want to go you there the math of it, but, if you have the 38% of the 25%. >> you're right. >> so, i'm trying to do the math in my head. >> i already did the math for you. 38% of 25% is 9.5. and 62% of 25% is 15.5. does that make sense to everybody? so that's where they are towards their 15%. you're six points behind now in the real poll in actual election. you're kind of getting your butt kicked. figure out what it really means. remaining 75% of the vote which luckily is big chunk. you have potential getting
4% vote you have 1.5% towards your 50%. that puts you 41%. your opponent is still winning with an additional 30%. they're going to be at 45%. this is really important thing to think about. oh, my gosh if the trend keeps going as it is only winning 2 points overall, that is not enough. you will lose by 4 points. you will be really mad. so this undecided is much bigger factor, 18% of what is left is 13.5%. how that 13.5 breaks down will be really really important. can you identify people specifically in the data file? can you do specific phone calls to groups of them? what do those voters really care about? is that a message you can use to take over? do you need to attack your opponent with those people? what do you need to do? this is a big strategic point, right? you're losing, even though, you open your cross tabs in
the morning, still up by two. looking good. no, actually you're losing by five. this is important thing it think about. wow!, what doe so this is just the math. i just wanted to show you how we did it. so this is your cross tab, your 25%. you're getting your butt kicked. you're winning by some. here is our math, right. so if you do 38% of 25 is your 9 1/2. 42% of your 31. 60% of 25, 40% of your 75% is 30% which gets you to 45. so that 13 1/2% is really make or break if that makes sense. i try to do a little remedial math. if you can explain it a little better. when you see cross tabs you might be able to do the math on
your own. you might be able to redo the math on your own. okay. so, tracking systems are really important. updated data is your friend. before i said either buy this from a vendor. have volunteers go collect it from the county clerk. you can have staff go collect it from the county clerk. set up some system where someone on your staff calling getting data downloaded every day. good news about improved technology broadly, one of the good things about even the, way voting has changed, federal laws have changed what states do this is a lot more electronic. which is good then you're actually matching voter i.d. numbers and knocking real people out rather than, when we first started doing this, well, john smith who lives on elm street, is that elm street in arlington or alexandria? is that a same john smith or different john smith? you can identify this really well. you can track people you registered as you're going through. you know you registered somebody because you have that some spreadsheet over here. you can knock out when they
voted. small election you can do it on your own pc which is helpful. okay. you're going to be able to track those who will cast their ballot early. people you've identified because you made them do it. people already registered. figure it out. this will save energy and save money. you can do it in, in california we did it with just a vendor. we sent the download every day. matched up files, kicked it out and new group of people we're calling. comes easier and easier as technology gets more up-to-date. okay. so i legal, i want to make this point. know what the law is. go do research on that. figure out exactly what your people can do. what paid staff can do. have observers ready to go. plan out when you need to start having legal teams go stand at voting places make sure things go the way they ought to. double-check with big localities for a small legislative race, where do all the people live? where your voters are going to be or where your opponent
voters might be. make sure they're following the law in those places. make sure your voters have access where they ought to vote and make sure in your opponent's places they're leting people vote who not vote. republicans get a bad rap. it all too many times day after election wisconsin in 2000, next day we got 5,000 phone calls from voters reporting things that were weird or funky at their election place. well, too bad it was day after, because we couldn't do anything about it. only recourse you have in a lot of states going in saying we think 10 people voted illegally and reach in and pull out 10 ballots. that is not really, that may or may not be helpful. only way to make it helpful go to places where all of your opponents voters vote. in george bush, wisconsin, gone to inner-city milwaukee where mostly african-american voters and disenfranchised people. wasn't going to be winning strategy broadly. wasn't what we wanted to do. being prepared with lawyers
present in the place where you can say that person, that specific ballot needs to be marked some way suspect gives you lot more recourse after the fact to do what you need to do if there is contested election. so that is my presentation. everyone appears to still be awake. i'm looking this as a grand success. what questions can i answer for you? >> assuming keep legal staff on retainer for an election cycle, how much would that cost for a state election like u.s. senate race? >> you're going to have a legal team on your campaign probably on the mccain campaign, we mccain campaign we had six lawyers worked for us full time. arnold schwarzenegger campaign we had only lawyers on retainer. i don't know what they made to be honest with you. we had two lawyers on retainer with us. most of those legal teams that will go out and do it as your observers on election day will do it as volunteers. it is going to cost money to house them. i think, trying to, should
be able to remember i think we had like $750,000 budgeted for like the last wee three weeks of the campaign for arnold schwarzenegger. that was like to house people. people rental cars and flights to go out and be that band of people but they actually worked for free. you want to figure out how many lawyers you need and what it will cost to house them and transport them and that kind of stuff. they won't do it, they want us pay their own freight but they will do it as volunteer. yeah? >> you deal with sent tee ballots rather than, vote by mail ballots. in new jersey, for example, they went to vote by mail where anybody can vote by mail. previously you had to be disabled out of the state in order to vote absentee, do you treat that the same way specially people aren't necessarily living in the district at the time? >> i think there are two things you need to think about. it is resource allocation question really. if you're in a state where
voting by mail or voting absentee or in person is hard you want to ask yourself the resource allocation question. does it make sense for us to spend money finding 16 college kids or 150,000 college kids don't go to school in new jersey but go to school in delaware, new york, pennsylvania and washington, d.c.? that may not be worth your energy. it may be the kind of thing, may be worth your energy, more cost efficient than you think if you get a list of them. look at state law, figure out if it trace additional absentee got to be sick or infirmed or living out of state or military something like that you want to though from the secretary of state when is last date they can get that stuff in so you can get a big file. you get biggest possible bang your buck. then maybe you phone calls and direct mail to them in way they get it. now you can do e-mail pens, get someone's actual information and send it out to vendor and get bunch of e-mail addresses to send
them an e-mail. think of ways to contact them. maybe something specific. maybe a candidate is veteran, there are bunch of people and bunch of people, military people are voting absent tee. that can be really important voting bloc for you. so you will have to do, all this is resource allocation question. how much money you have. how many vote is this and right kind of voters to make a difference to you like i would have said, if we had the same kind of demographic profile who our voters were for mccain in a state where most of the absentee voters were college kids, i would say, screw it. i'm not going to spend any money on that, probably on either side, even if i thought they were all supportive, i might say, we'll buy e-mail addresses nickel a piece, send them e-mail because they're all supporters and people can drive them to turn out. if i was running mccain campaign, those people aren't going to vote for us. unless i had some juicy piece of information like you know, our opponent, you know when he was in college he was a nerd. i don't know whatever.
he wasn't cool. wasn't cool as you think he is. he is really bad at basketball. some piece of information that can change their mind. you know what i'm saying. >> you spoke about state laws that govern early voting are there any national regulations regarding early voting or all state? >> all election laws will be dominated by state law except central fund-raising laws are mostly federal pieces of law. you will need to know, secretary of state is going to be the dominant piece of, dominant place where you go for information about how people vote because constitution states are ones who govern elections. it will be manner in which that's conducted will happen at secretary of state's office. so most of it is state. working state to state actually get, you become like a pseudolawyer because you, suddenly have to understand it all because implementing it all. a lot of it has budgetary impact. schwarzenegger campaign i
spent more time, more of my daily hours on schwarzenegger campaign figuring out all contact with republicans went through the state party. when i did a mail piece had to figure out how many square inches were arnold schwarzenegger, how many square inches were rerepublican party. did i say vote on november 3rd or whenever the election was that year, voting on november 3rd, vote november 3rd this is federal election. that had to be paid for with money raised under federal limits. and then if it was within certain windows there is all sorts of other laws that govern how the money is spent. so you become, you have to become proficient at it because it matters. knowing that said, i never said vote on november 3rd. i said make your heard because people knew when the election was. okay, more important to me that i don't have enough federal dollars to do what i want to do. how do i do what i want to do without using federal lawyers. i had really good lawyers were awesome at it. i think we actually, well,
because of something we did they actually changed how you used to, we thought we could use state funds to registerers that is usually something state parties have to use federal dollars for. those are really hard to raise because you can only raise them in $5,000 chunks. california we'll give you million and a half dollars to the party. that is great money you can't use it for everything. what we did, actually registering voters is now, get-out-the-vote activity, party-building activity we're turning those people into permanent sent tee voters. we had our paid people going out to check the box, okay do you want to someone permanent absentee? once we check that box we could pay for that with state money not federal money. it was strategically really really important because it made a lot more money available to us do a lot more programs. you have to have really good lawyers and ask a lot of questions. you have to assume there is way you want to get where you want to be. good campaign lawyers understand strategically
where you want to be and help you go through that path. if anyone going to law school, become a campaign finance lawyer. there is not enough good ones out there. don't go to law school though. that is just my advice. who else has a question? have i bored you all to death? go ahead. >> any differences in persuadability in early voters versus election day voters? seem logical early voters made up their mind or more likely to made up their mind without being persuaded by mail or tv spot. >> i think 10 years ago that was totally true. i think in states where we're seeing majority of are voting early i don't think that is true at all. you know, use california because where i have a ton of experience so i probably, rely on it too much. in that state 40% of the vote, many hadn't decided. i would say partisans that vote early, those people are already pretty locked in you want to make sure if you're going to try to appeal to them, you better have pretty
clear path what you're going to say or it will be wasted money. independents are people most likely to vote. they're kind of a great universe because of their undecided and they also don't want to spend the time doing on election day, don't feel some big civic duty going in getting sticker and pulling thing. they're probably a lot more mall ethan you expect. but i don't have any data to back that up. it is an interesting question. go ahead. >> -- have you found there is any specific issues or techniques that are good at convincing early voters to get out and vote? like, are there specific issues that motivate them to vote, that specific population more than other voters? >> well i would say, one of the things if you're working on a big general lek, part of how the money flows understanding how the money most a lot of those voter contacts will take place through your state party. you're going to be targeting
partisans who are members, people who are members of the party, probably most. i mean, for us in california. i use california as my example again, because that's what i'm going to do, but in california part of the deal that schwarzenegger made with the state party to run, we ran $60 million through the state party, part of the deal he made we would specifically try to target republicans with money we raise understood the public can party. part of that was in 2006, remember what happened in 2006? republicans didn't do very well. it was really bad year for republicans. we had to appeal to this huge number of declining state voters people independent. they're not happy to hear about republicans. so we weren't going to try to talk to them from the recan party. so we thought about who we're going to drive to vote early. we went to republicans. very conservative messaging talked about taxes. we talked about illegal immigration. there is ballot initiative that year, jessica's law. putting pedophiles on a
registry and all that kind of stuff. what else did we talk to them about? we talked about social conservative issues. we talked about them what wrong with our opponent not what was right with arnold schwarzenegger because he is not so right on all those issues to that audience. really specifically tried to target those voters what we knew were third rail hot topic issues whether going after state voters with some murky message about, from the republican party that, you know, that would appeal to moderate voters. know what i mean? i think going to people, this is part of what your data files, because they may talk to you about micro targeting at all? part of micro targeting is so great, when you say immigration to them, their hair stands up. now you know what to talk to that person about because they're really freaked out about it. so i can target the message specifically to them. really important that you vote today. just harassing them. that is the thing that really works. rnc did a lot of research between 2000, 2004, they
figured out 6 to 7 contacts with a voter was kind of the number where you started to see increase in activity. there is reason why campaigns call over and over and over again. why you tell volunteers, yes i know they said if we call them one more time the there is a reason why we do that. it's because it works. the repetition is important and to the degree that you can find those issues that are the agitator issues helps, too. we'll let her go first and then we'll come to you. >> everyone is talking about microtargeting. it seems like a great thing. it seems like it can be very expensive, especially with direct mail. i'm wondering the costs versus sending out a generic one to everyone versus a microtargeted piece to some people and a different piece to some people, what are the costs differences? >> in a state like california, we spent $250,000 to microtarget the entire general election universe.
10 million voters. you could probably ballpark it from there. yeah, it's a lot of money. i think it's not -- i don't think it's the great panacea, but it is the thing if you're within two or three points of winning an election, it's going to get you two or three points. t will get you two or three points. you have to be right on other 48% or you will not get over the line. that is part of analysis you have to do on campaign. if you're being tight on budget. sending general nair mail to entire universe me coming in republicans are awesome. some you may agree totally. others would say no. knowing your audience is really important. you can target and i'm sure your mail people will get into this a lot more in depth with you and lot better than i can. your polling when you ask this guy is, thanks to the answer to health care obama
health care plan. go into cross tabs look at difference what women 18 to 30 think, what men 18 to 30 think. what women 30 to 45 think. what women 45 plus think and use that as targeting model. if you don't have the budget to do microtargeting and mail program. other thing you can look at data file most places you buy it from they will have a bunch of data. they will say, gosh, can you poll people who, people who are known pro-life people from past campaigns who maybe identified, self-identified as pro-life person. go through and target some of that stuff out. other thing you can do, is, geographic targeting for your mail. you know, if like local election or state election, if guy's tax plan were reenacted, people who own homes worth more than $500,000 would see 10 increase in their taxes. those are made up numbers. anybody who owns a home,
that is worth more than $500,000, is going to get, will get beat down if this guy is elected. that all of sudden, that is pretty targeted message. go back and pull tax records from, state or county officials. go through and pull it by census block. a home is worth more than $500,000. if you have a good mail vendor they can help you identify based on polling as much on microtargeting. it is really, really giant survey. instead of calling 500 or. 1,000 people we call 20,000 people. you do regression analysis and people with common traits. they have credit card data and consumer data. over time safe way or cvs card. people who believe this have bunch of other commonalities. they all drink dark liquor. drive ford f-150s or live in these kinds of places. those sorts of thing are
identifiers that microtargeting uses some of it is pretty logical. wow!, people who like guns also like trucks. maybe we should get a truck list. go from the state and poll, a list of people that bought hunting licenses and send them orange post card. or maybe working with, on the left maybe working with aclu and pulleys of people with e-mail you do a lot of different things where people, membership groups will give you membership groups so you can mine communicate with them, on behalf of your members. when you don't have money, you think about what other things we identify to do our own getting and modeling based on data you have. there is lot of data out there. i think, it is amazing candidate i'm working with in california is jewish guy and commissioner of insurance. commissioner of insurance is singularly the most boring thing could ever talk about. one of the things he did was go through and make insurance companies divest
their interests of anything iranian. so we were like, okay, kept talking iran issue. what the hell does that have to do with commissioner of insurance. he explained it to us. now we've done series of targeted e-mails to people with jewish surnames or traditionally jewish surnames. we got open rate, is like 7 or 10% from data we've seen. we've had 15, 20% of people opening e-mails. small universe, targeted way to do it and not exact right. aish sure name may or may not be practicing. >> or have any jewish ancestry at all but something we've done to be okay, here is a group of people who might be really interested in that one specific and yet bizarre topic. i love my candidate by the way. he is great. like, talking about what is he going to do? he doesn't understand the iran issue. go ahead. >> [inaudible].
>> yeah. actually one of the big measures that you use to see if you're, if your e-mail is effective, right, whether or not people are opening it. they can track back, stuff on e-mails i feel like i'm just learning about stuff, one of the things they can do is track back did that person click on the web site? where did they click? what path did they follow through the web site. click on particular set of issues. attach all the information to the e-mail. next time you e-mail that person. wow!, they only clicked on tax pages. why are we talking to them about education. they don't care. they only care about taxes. so interesting. figure out who donated based on that stuff which can be helpful, right? so, it is pretty cool. technology stuff is really, i think, i think it is something that some very small subset of our, broader political consulting community has really figured out. i think there are people who are really good at it. and i think people will sell you the moon and don't know what they're talking about. it is pretty fascinating to
talk to people about it. somebody else had a hand up over here, no? yeah? >> with early voting more pop, do you see it topping off eventually or, will all early voting 20 years from now? >> i think -- i think in states where everybody votes early i don't think that is model that every state is going to follow because i think there are a lot of people in our country who see this like great communeal election day something pretty important. so i don't think everybody will go to 100%, you know, voting through the mail or any of that kind of stuff. i think, internet security is place where also people aren't very comfortable saying everybody can vote at home from their web site. i don't think that is a place we'll go anytime soon. i do think states like california and washington is another good example, where it has been, california been through a bunch of election cycles, and pretty stable
people who are early voters. you can't marginally change people who voter, despite great effort you can only move couple percent. those are states to watch will it stablize as 40 to 50%? will it be half and half proposition? the part of california i think is interesting that local election clerks like county clerk goes through just before election day and says, here's where the voting places are going to be. they also go through like six or eight weeks before are we voting by mail or is it going to be, they consolidate all the places, there is just not enough people geographically to make everybody go to city hall to cast a ballot so all those people vote by mail that will be interesting thing especially with contracting local budgets, that i think it will be interesting to see how that work out. >> is there any way to make sure that people actually vote themselves? i'm from austria. the discussion is always you husbands vote for wives in
mail-? >> oh really. i think you have to trust to cast their own ballot. that's interesting. my husband. better not vote for me. i have to say i was it todaying my husband during the mccain campaign. i had been laid off by the campaign and went back to the campaign during the whole debacle that was mccain over two years. when i went back i just, we just started dating. does this mean we support mccain now? i said, yes it does, big clue. so, he became a big, next day, obama said something or somebody, it was still during primary. probably huckabee said something, i hate that guy. you can stay. well, thank you so much. i appreciate being a part of it. good luck to everybody. [applause] i hope you all get a little bit of sleep working on this project but not too much. i hope you all still speak to each other when you're done.
highest court. we'll talk about supreme court justices steven briar and clarence thomas. later a reporter discusses the courts 2010 agenda. up next, a panel at the university of virginia talks about taxes and the national debt and the effect they have on the economy. this is just over an hour. >> welcome back to our concluding roundtable. we have in the last 12 hours considered a considerable amount of ground. our concluding roundtable is designed to take what we have learned and contemplate the "big" questions, not that we haven't done that so far, questions having to do is there an optimal level of debt, do debt and deficits put america leadership at risk, does preserving the status of the dollar require sacrifices so far as domestic fiscal policy is concerned. we have drawn from our earlier panels to bring together representatives from each one
to talk about these issues. we have christian from the german government. ray from the national governor's association, arrest minute from the peterson institute, thomas rice from ucla. alice from the brookings institution and bill from cigna. to lead us through these questions, we will be led by margaret brennan, a reporter and anchor for bloomberg television. i am especially happy to introduce margaret, she is a graduate of foreign affairs, my home department and she received her b.a. in 2002. all of you u.v.a. students out there, when you wonder -- when you contemplate what you can do with a major in foreign affairs, here is your answer. margaret. >> thank you so much. i'm still trying to explain to my parents that i'm doing my b.a. in foreign affairs and minor in arabic. i'm having fun doing it. to talk to smart accomplished
people like we have today. right before this session i was readinglines on my blackberry and i saw that house majority steny hoyer has said they're going to vote next week on rages the debt level to either $1.8 trillion or $1.9 trillion. as we have been talking, the can has been kicked further down the road, the fourth time in 18 months. the debt ceiling has been talked at least and effectively changed. we see how that vote happens next week. i would say one of the takeaways that i have just from consumer response or media response to the question of debt and deficits is that debt is a four-letter word that has absolutely no visceral reaction in the consumer face when they hear it because it's not real. 1.8, 1.9 doesn't sound real to people. they sound like fake numbers. in the past two days, we have gone through real issues and
real potential danger that may result from high debt and high deficits in this country. i know alice just told us that the year 2010 may be a year when we see a change there in the public face in terms of their concept of what debt means to them. we're going to try to come up with some actionable ideas, some concrete ones from this conversation now. and i think there is something unique about this time period in that even just during the past two weeks, all of a sudden, debt is dominating headlines in the financial media and somewhat in the mainstream. all of a sudden, this little place called dubai became worldwide news and moved equity markets around the world because of concerns about debt level and the question about how much debt there is, not in the government face but government-related entities. recent reports say that debt in that small country is i was in did you