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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:30 AM

How Obama won: A Q&A with Obama pollster Cornell Belcher

I love reading this insider stuff and thought maybe some here might enjoy it.

One of the members of President Obama’s polling team, Cornell Belcher, chatted with theGrio via e-mail on how the president resoundingly won a second term. Here’s the conversation with Belcher, who also polled for the campaign in 2008.

theGrio: Were you surprised by the turnout among blacks? Young people? That black turnout in Ohio was higher than in 2008?

No, I wasn’t. One of the things I have found amusing over the last month has been Republicans talking about how minority and youth turnout was going to drop way off from ’08 for the president. They actually believed that the electorate was going to buck a fairly solid historical trend and not grow more diverse but collapse back into the ’80s and grow starkly whiter – how so many rather intelligent people could be the victims of their own wishful fantasy cognitive dissonance would make a nice case study for some graduate student. I would hear them time and again talk on air and in private about how in no way we could get the electorate to look like ’08 again.

When one Republican member of Congress came up to me after a CNN hit to talk to get my thoughts on this idea that African Americans weren’t energized to turnout again for Obama, I knew something was afoot on their side that was simply wrong and that they were in fact serious. I was gobsmacked, either they knew something that we just weren’t seeing or they were in fact betting the house on something I knew to be flat-out wrong – that base Democratic turnout for the president would dramatically fall off.

I was both amused and just a little frightened. A couple of weeks before the election, after both combating the spin on-air and in private conversation with friends on the other side, I was convinced that the polling on their side was either fundamentally flawed or that they had spun so well that they had blurred the lines of bluff and reality even for themselves. I remember telling one Republican pundit on AC360 (the CNN program) a week or so before the election that betting their election on our base not turning out was fool’s gold. Look, clearly a lot of pollsters on their side missed something and created models that frankly made some really bad assumptions about the world. They screened out a lot of voters who frankly they should not have.


More here..
http://thegrio.com/2012/11/13/how-obama-won-an-interview-with-obama-pollster-cornell-belcher/

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Reply How Obama won: A Q&A with Obama pollster Cornell Belcher (Original post)
moobu2 Nov 2012 OP
mzteaze Nov 2012 #1
BlueMTexpat Nov 2012 #2
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #3
geek tragedy Nov 2012 #4
qwlauren35 Nov 2012 #5

Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:59 AM

1. Thanks for this!

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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:19 AM

2. While it is true that the Rs were living

in their own "wishful fantasy cognitive dissonance," I believe that there were also a lot of R dirty tricks going on behind the scenes - overtly with the restrictive and confusing voter ID laws to intimidate and more covertly with other attempts to suppress the vote, such as not sending out absentee ballots as requested, illegally scrubbing voter names from the rolls, wholesale dumping of voter registrations or sending out Spanish-language ballots with incorrect voting information, among others that have been reported.

We owe a lot to the Obama ground game, phone banks, successful court challenges to restrictive laws and informal alert observers everywhere who blasted this news out on the social media that these ploys were not ultimately successful. It must literally have astonished the Rs that the Dems were as well organized as they were (completely blasting at least one well-beloved R myth about us).

I also believe that people like Rove were banking on R administrations in states like OH, VA and FL to ensure that the vote totals in those states were reliably red, as was done in the past, at least in OH and FL. In the end, however, these guys were not just as able to stay out of the limelight as they were in 2000 and 2004 and their actions were being heavily scrutinized so that they did not dare pull the same shenanigans again.

Eternal vigilance is indeed the price of liberty. But it doesn't take guns; it takes information, communication and constant attention to detail.

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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:30 AM

3. Anyone with a name like "Belcher" has to be cool.

 

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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:35 AM

4. This is very encouraging

Why didn’t these voters show up in 2010?
Because like I said in my last memo to then DNC Chairman (Howard) Dean at the close of the 08 cycle, they are Obama voters, not necessarily Democratic voters and the party has to understand the difference. We have to work to bring them solidly into the party as reliable Democrats. Look about 11% of the electorate was new voters in 08; people who had made a rationale decision, from their point of view, about not voting. There was something about Obama and the movement that he created which made them believe in politics as a viable vehicle for change/ things to get better. In many instances they didn’t even understand the ramifications of the midterm elections or that they needed to have Obama’s back in this fight to change the country.

How can you get them to show up in 2014?
I have a feeling the majority of my work life along with many others will be dedicated to that question for the next two years – but I like our odds.


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Response to moobu2 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:52 PM

5. The truth was before my eyes...

I bought into the "we won't come out for him in 2012 because the novelty has worn off". Here in Maryland, I saw hundreds of African-Americans and young people supporting the president, but I figured it was just because I live in a blue state...

I am very happy to have been wrong.

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