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Virginia Governor’s Race Hinges on GOTV Effort

Today’s highly-anticipated gubernatorial election in Virginia will test two opposing forces:  The Republican Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) program versus the zeitgeist.

The Republican GOTV program (known as the 72-Hour Task Force), is an amazing system of identifying, and turning out Republicans to vote. 

I’m told by some close friends that the Kilgore campaign has the best organized GOTV effort they’ve ever seen.  (Generally speaking, a well-run GOTV effort can increase turnout by about five percent.)  Republicans will need to squeeze every last drop out of every last Republican, if they are to win.

The Democrats are also campaigning hard, but they are a few years behind when it comes to GOTV technology.  As such, they will have to rely on recent anti-Republican sentiment to fuel their victory.  

There is absolutely no doubt Virginia conservatives are much less enthusiastic than they were a year ago.  In terms of luck, Tim Kaine couldn’t have picked a better year to run.

In the long run, Republicans were wise to invest in GOTV technology.  Mechanisms tend to work regardless of the political environment, while public sentiment is fickle. 

The bad news is that the anti-Republican sentiment won’t change in the next twelve hours.

Here’s hoping that a well-run campaign can compensate for a tough year.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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