I have been making the point since the election that conservatives need to intensify their outreach and organization efforts, not water down their message.
Writing for FreedomWorks, Aaron Goldenberg has offered up a compelling case study about the sorry state of Republican and Romney campaign grassroots efforts during the 2012 campaign.
Goldenberg, an election lawyer in Philadelphia, was on the ground in the city on Election Day and says he’s not particularly surprised that Gov. Mitt Romney failed to receive a single vote in 59 Philadelphia voting divisions.
From the moment (polls) opened until well into the afternoon, I observed long lines of voters snaking through polling locations in heavily Democrat neighborhoods of Philadelphia where every voter was handed a card instructing them how to vote. These are similar to the cards that were handed out in heavily Democrat neighborhoods in Bridgeport, CT in 2010. No such lines existed in Republican neighborhoods and similar cards were not handed out to voters asking them to vote for Republican or conservative candidates.
Incredible. If you merely gave Democratic voters a GOP card with some brief explanations about why conservative policies would benefit them, at least some percentage would vote GOP.
From the time that (polls) opened until the moment they closed, there was a concerted effort by Philadelphia voting officials to weigh their thumbs on the scale of the election. Democrats fought efforts to seat Republican voting inspectors despite being presented with court orders to do so . . . I observed multiple instances of electioneering inside polling locations and had to return to the same polling locations on multiple occasions to chase electioneers away. I was even forced to instruct an election judge not to ‘pull the lever’ for a voter.
Goldenberg suggests that conservative groups need to step up. I think, though, that if Republicans want to win a presidential election, the Republican Party itself must also lead a national effort to organize at the grass roots, so that a ready-made apparatus is in place to be used by the eventual GOP nominee.
Obama’s vast army of volunteers will immediately be at the disposal of whoever Democrats nominate. If Republicans don’t have a competing network, in 2016 they will suffer the same fate they did two weeks ago.