I confess. As a nuts and bolts kind of operative, I have great respect for Organizing for America. A “from the ground up” approach to politics is a recipe for winning. You build a community around politics and do it at the precinct level, your bad ideas with great organization are often going to beat people with great ideas and bad organization.
Which is why I was stunned to read this article from GQ Politics on how OFA thinks 2012 is a base election.
That’s right. For the last year (or more), OFA has been focused on turning out Barack Obama’s base. And here is where the serious miscalculation comes in.
Team Obama thinks that because they won in 2008, America is a center left nation.
It’s not. It was a nation that was less than thrilled with John McCain (!) and an election where Independents bought the hope and change rhetoric hook, line and sinker and voted for Barack Obama.
2012 is not 2008. Through the work done by groups using the Gravity database system, I can tell you that we are seeing a surge among Republicans in battleground states and with Romney winning by double digits among Independents, we could be looking at a wave election.
But let’s break this thing down a little further. In 2010, Gallup research showed that 42% of Americans identified themselves as conservative. Only 20% identified themselves as liberal. For the non-math majors out there, that’s a more than 2 to 1 ratio. Not only that, but given the surge of the tea party movement and the awakening of the American taxpayer, I have to think that 42% number has grown.
Which means Team Obama thought it was starting with the football on the 50 yard line only to discover that in reality, they didn’t have a great kickoff return. They had a touchback and started with the ball on their own 20 yard line and they are running out of time.
Let’s see how this plays out over the next few days, but right here, right now, I am going to tell you: Organizing for America, the backbone of Team Obama, made a serious miscalculation.
And I think it will cost them the election.
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