By Richard Gooding
There are many ways PCs can help elect Democrats across the state in 2018. Developing a PC strategy is about discerning which activities will best accomplish our desired outcome. The absence of a strategy is trying to do everything. In attempting everything, you spread yourself too thin and the results of your hard work are diminished. Because your time and resources are limited, you need to focus on the activities with the greatest impact.
As a PC how should I allocate my time and energy? Should I focus on voter registration? How much emphasis should I put into voter turnout in my precinct? Should I focus on recruiting other PCs? Should I be talking to Democrats, Independents or both? What should I be doing this week? This month?
Over the next few months we will be publishing a series of BluePrint blogs addressing the above questions so you can develop your PC strategy.
How much should I focus on registering new voters?
The answer to this question depends on the makeup of your LD and precinct.
First, what is the opportunity to register new voters? If most voting age people in your LD or precinct are already registered, opportunity to register new voters may be small. Therefore, you need to compare the number of current registered voters with the number of voting age eligible citizens. In cases where over 50% of the voting age population is unregistered, a voting registration effort makes sense. In other LDs, where only 20% of eligible voters are unregistered, it may make less sense to focus on voter registration.
Second, you need to consider the distribution of registered voters in each political party. Voter registration is a non-partisan activity. You can’t be selective in who you register to vote. You are expected to register Republicans as well as Democrats. Consequently, you need to look at the relative number of Democrats and Republicans in the LD. If the number of registered Republicans is significantly greater than the number of registered Democrats, a voter registration effort may result in registering more Republicans than Democrats.
The best scenario for a voter registration effort aimed at getting Democrats elected would be at LDs or precincts that have (1) a large percentage of the voting age population that is not registered and (2) significantly more registered Democrats than Republicans. In other words, blue LDs with a low percentage of registered voters. If you are in a red LD where most everyone is registered to vote, your time may be better spent working on activities designed to increase Democratic voter turnout.
Finally, while registering a new voter as a Democrat is a necessary first step, it is not sufficient for winning. The newly registered voter must vote. Each newly registered Democrat does not equal an additional new vote for the Democratic candidate. You will still need to focus on turnout with these new voters or your voter registration efforts will remain fruitless.
If you need information on voter registrations in your LD and precinct, email us with your LD and precinct name at info@AZBlue2020.org We will send you your LD Snapshot, created by Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) and a Precinct Snapshot for your precinct, created by AZ Blue 2020. Snapshots exist for every precinct in the state and they are free to all PCs.