Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

Gross on Deace in the Afternoon

Doug Gross continued his media tour yesterday when he spend two hours on Steve Deace’s radio program to discuss the rebuilding of the Republican Party in Iowa. It seems that Doug’s true intentions have come to light, he doesn’t really care about message or mechanics, and he just wants a Republican to knock off Culver in 2012. That’s fine. The only problem with that is that he seems to elude that the candidate he foresees isn’t really pro-life or for traditional family values. I mean why else have a pissing match with social conservatives?

Emily over at battleground has a good write up on that topic today.

Rants says GOP is Exclusionary

Seriously? Rants unloads on the Sioux City Journal and talks about the Democrats edge in voter registration and early voting. Basically Rants says the party is lazy. Now there may be some truth to that, but maybe our activists are unmotivated. Maybe our candidates lack the fire needed to win a close race. And maybe Christopher Rants needs to look in the mirror and realize that he was the Party.

I love how the State Party is everyone’s favorite whipping boy after a disastrous election. Heck, two years ago Rants acknowledged that the party needs to focus on absentees, yet he didn’t do anything about it. My point is not to say that he is the reason we got our asses kicked in early voting and absentees, my point is that until we have a coordinated effort like the Democrats have we will continue to see our candidates win on election day, and yet lose elections because of early votes.

Rants is correct in saying that we as a party must be willing to do the hard work, but everyone needs to be part of the solution. That means the legislative candidate who door knocks should be asking favorable people if they would vote absentee. I don’t care how many doors a candidate knocks, if they don’t ask that person to vote early we are wasting our time.

I’m sick of the blame game, we need solutions. All of our Republican candidates need to be part of the solution. We can’t expect RPI to do it, when they don’t have the staff or financial resources to pull it off. It needs to be a priority and a coordinated effort between every campaign. That mean these campaigns need help pay for its implementation.


  1. Dear Krusty,
    I am a producer for Purple States. We're the producers of the short video documentary series about a team of citizen journalists traveling through the primary and battleground states and covering the election. This was shown on NYTimes.com and the Wash Post online. We have launched our next project - 50/50/50 - where we talk with 50 bloggers from 50 states about the economy in their area. (You can see the series at www.purplestates.tv.) CNN.com and iReport.com are our platform partners, and highlight the videos on those sites too. It is my job to read through state blogs and invite the best to take part. We would love to have Krusty Konservative represent Iowa.
    Let me know if you are interested. You can email me at 505050john@gmail.com
    John Kennedy
    Purple States

  2. Once again, typical GROSS performance.

  3. Hershel,
    Read the Journal article again.

    I didn't say the party was exclusionary - I cautioned against becoming so.

    I didn't say the party was lazy - I said that there has been a debate raging within the party about whether or not early voting matters and new registrations matter. Its a debate that has been going on for years. A lot of folks know who is on which side. Its time to admit that one side has lost the debate.

    I'm saying that when you look at the numbers - http://rants.us/CMDocs/Rants/2008ByTheNumbers.ppt - I think its clear that the combination of registration and early voting equals straight tickets. The congressional firewall to stop that is gone. Look at the 1st and 2nd CDs.

    You are right - I am the party - and thats why I said I was going to make that a new project of mine.

    One person can only do so much - only so much time, resources, etc... I've spent ALL of mine on candidates and arming them for battle. Well, now I have time for something else. This may be it.


  4. Hey John, Don’t be a buzz-kill.

    Now to today’s post.
    All I can say is YES
    Right on
    Fo Sho
    Keep’em honest Krusty!

  5. Isn't the Gubernatorial in 2010?

  6. Krusty,
    I agree that R's need to focus on absentees, but getting a vote by absentee just to match D's does not make sense unless it is a NEW vote. We can exchance votes today for votes on election day but unless the total number increases the end game is the same! There are some races that won the absentee battle, or at least didn't lose it by too much and were able to overcome the deficit and win on election day. We need to look at what they did to make it happen.

    Rants is correct in his assertion that we've lost some registration numbers, but we also won seats in those districts so it can be done!

    Our best days are ahead of us, not behind us!

  7. It's "allude" not "elude".

    "New" Krusty hasn't been doing a very good job on the quality control front. And I'm not just talking grammatically.

  8. Any state central committee member that does not support the immediate removal/resignation of Kim Lehman should not even bother running for chairman. And saying you would support it if someone else calls the vote does not count. We need a strong leader not another pussy.

  9. Anon 11:55

    You are right. Simply increasing the absentee vote total is meaningless.

    Saying absentees are some how the Lucky Charms of politics is ridiculous. They are not magically delicious.

    If votes cast by absentee are more valuable, then so are votes cast on election day prior to noon.

    By the absentee logic concept, all candidates who "lose absentees" have no chance of winning. But, history says otherwise. Good candidates win.

    The Republican in HD80 had a large absentee defecit. He lost absentees and the election.

    Senator Jim Hahn, logically, had the identical absentee defecit in the HD80 side of his district.

    Miraculously, Jim Hahn WON the HD80 side of the district while the House candidate got whupped.

    How did that happen?

    Chris Hagenow in HD59 had a HUGE "absentee defecit". I guess he should have packed it in and gone home with no chance. Dems are going to win, so sad.

    OOPS, Hagenow won. (in this race are the D's saying they lost because not enough D's voted after the polls opened?)

    Message works.

    The present thought of simply increasing absentee vote totals is similar to the shopper who thinks they save more and more money with each sale item they purchase.

    Well, sort of, but you've spent more also.

    Look, a more effective absentee ballot program can clearly be part of an improved Republican effort, but not simply increasing absentee ballots cast.

    Getting more people registered as Republicans and getting more Republicans to vote are the only useful goals.

    (We will leave candidates that actually stand for something as a genearlly accepted principle for success that too many ignore for a different discussion)

    If we can get Republican folks to vote, by any method, who are not very likely to vote in any given election, we have succeeded.

    Identifying this population of Registered Republican voters who we can persuade to vote via absentee is a wonderful project. It increases the bottom line.

    Also, Identifying from this same group those we can get to early voting locations or to the polls is equally worthy. It increases the bottom line.


    Registering new Republicans is a great goal as well. A clear message is needed to sell people on the Republican Brand.

    This isn't Oz and we can't tap our heels together three times and say,

    There's no place like the Republican Party

    There's no place like the Republican Party.

    There's no place like the Republican Party.

    Being a Republican must again mean something.

    We have lost distinction between ourselves and the democrats. We are one big jumble of indistinguishable bureaucrats and political hacks no real people can trust or tell apart from one another.

    We must stand for something.

    Then more people will want to be Republican again and will vote by all methods available.

    Ed Failor, Jr.

  10. Who said Iowans for Tax Relief wasn't partisan?


    Disagree with Christopher Rants if you wish in forums such as this.

    But know one thing, over more than the last decade he put his name and neck on the line to advance the Republican Party.

    He didn't post anonymously on a blog, he exposed himself to a public examination most woud not tolerate.

    You may not have agreed with Christopher on every issue, but he faithfully tried to advance the Republican Party everyday, given his view of that direction.

    We owe him our gratitude for fighting our battles with Democrats.

    If we choose a new direction, fine. Let's honor one individual who battled for us.

    Ed Failor

    P.S. I am a registered Republican. No secret. Public record.

    Everybody who is shocked, let me know.

  12. 4:24 was posted by Ed Failor, Jr.

  13. Mad props to everyone who posts their real identities.

    Wait. Ed is a registered republican?!?!?! :)

  14. Ed,
    Thanks, that was kind of you to say.

    Ed and I have debated the role of absentee/early voting for years, so this is nothing new.

    Ed is correct that if people were voting anyway, and they vote the same way, they just vote early - early voting doesn't matter.

    Ed is correct that getting more republicans to vote is the key.

    Now here comes the great question - do people who cast their ballots early, cast them differently then they would if those same people cast them on election day?

    I contend that the answer is yes.

    They don't hear the same message. They don't get some of the same negatives - which impacts both candidates to greater and lesser degrees. They don't get the final push message - whatever it may be.

    For instance, an early voter in the Sullivan/Hagenow race never saw the Sullivan favored "compromising" on right to work. An early voter never heard that Sullivan supported Project Destiny, nor did they hear about him raising property taxes five times. Someone who voted at the polls heard all of those arguments. An early voter did hear that Hagenow wanted to gamble away their social security in the stock market (not true btw).

    I contend that the Ds who vote early receive a very specific message different than what the rest of the voting public gets. And they get it because they have been identified and "trained" to vote early over time.

    The second great question is, would those people who vote early, actually vote on election day?

    I believe that among Ds, the answer is no - that they are lower propensity voters that are being banked - and here is the kicker, they are banking straight tickets.

    The challenge for us Rs is to bank more low propensity voters who otherwise wouldn't vote. Our challenge is to better identify those likely to vote early and deliver a message that shows the differences between the candidats.

    It used to be that we could hold our powder until the end, and then fire all the cannons.

    I no longer think that is the case.

    It is a healthy debate to have as we move into the future.

    Christopher Rants

  15. I can't believe I'm going to say this but, I actually agree with what Rants is saying.

    Maybe it's because Rants has a little more time on his hands to actually think through things?

  16. Ed & Christopher -

    Do you REALLY believe that if we had someone get an absentee ballot request form when they were mailed out on or about September 25th that that will NOT ENHANCE the chances that that person will vote?

    There were volunteers that worked an absentee ballot program (in spite of establishment foot-dragging):
    Worked all of Sorensen's District, all of Schulte's District and a great deal of Hagenow's District.

    In 2006, same program also followed up on voters who told a LIVE person at the door that they would vote VS those that told a phone caller that they would vote. Those contacted personally were 67%more likely than those who received a phone call.

    I personally like doing both.

    Let's get back to retail politics ... that is what you see the D's doing from April - November ... and try to win an election!!

    I appreciate both of you but I believe you are in error on this one. Human nature dictates that people like people who give a damn about them.

    Big Killer

  17. It's a matter of starting early and building name recognition. Down here in heavily union Lee co we've had the absentee problems for years - over 40% of our votes are absentee. That breaks down to 60% Dems, 25% Indies, and 15% GOP, give or take.

    We are an older county. You aren't going to have a ton of registrations and you aren't going to out register the Democrats. Our GOP votes 95% in Presidential elections. We can't win on GOP votes like many places can. We do though come in very well at the polls for the most part.

    What we have been trying do since '02 is to target is the Indie and soft Dem absentee vote. We have been successful in switching them to various degrees....all we need is a minimum 60/40 split and if we can win by a big enough margin at the polls we pull it out by a few hundred votes.

    Problem is it takes name recognition to do that, and you can't start in September and hope to make headway when the absentees start getting mailed out. Rants is right that they are banking straight D voters with the early vote. We've got to counter that.

    It has drastically changed our elections and we have a much different strategy here. With the increasing use of absentees elsewhere the rest of the state needs to start thinking differently about how they run their campaigns. To win with heavy absentees it's a marathon, not a sprint, and that's the attitude we have to adopt.

  18. Big Killer:

    Pay attention.

    We both think getting requests is important.

    We agree getting requests from those who have a limited propensity to vote is important.

    I simply feel pursuing those, at great cost, who were very likely to vote anyway is a bit wasteful.

    The bottom line that matters is increasing the number of republicans.

    Christopher and I simply disagree a bit on who to pursue and how.

    Neither of us said recipt on Sept 25 would not enhance likliehood to vote.

    Assuming your name is not Real Killer, maybe you would toss in your real name so we know who isn't paying attention in class. :-)

    Ed Failor, Jr.

    P.S. Additional props to Christopher for staying plugged and trying to find ways to help Republicans. Many guys would have taken their ball and gone home.

    Agree with him or not, Rants is what we call a team player folks.

  19. We're analyzing the Democrat wins all wrong. The truth is we are trying to apply logic to an issue where there is no logic.

    An author, broadcaster, commentator and film maker by the name of Ziegler authorized poll taker Zogby to interview some Obama supporters.

    The results while extremely troublesome are not surprising. You can google Ziegle, Zogby to get the results.

    The fact is that the typical Obama voter is totally clueless. They only know what they have heard on the MSM.

    In Iowa, if we see that in a statewide race, Reed got 37% of the vote we know we can use that 37% as a base.

    That means we have to find a way to get the votes of another 14%. We are probably making a big mistake assuming any of these people actually think or are well informed.

    This is probably the same reason folks flock to churches that have the best entertainment rather than solid doctrine.

    It's the mob effect. Americans will do whatever is considered the "in" thing at the moment.

    Right now the MSM is the controlling factor and it's "in" to vote Democrat because the MSM tells us to vote Democrat.

  20. Isn't Big Killer none only than Karl Gilbertson from the SCC? The establishment?