CD7 Outreach Officers Report, November 2017:
Pipelines going nowhere and good jobs needed: Our state Commerce Department has found no need for Elmbridge’s proposed “Line 3” new pipeline. None the less Embridge is still pushing this billion dollar boondoggle and has even gotten the support of a few DFL legislators from the Range. They cite the need for living wage jobs, which emphasizes why we need to be the party that comes up with solutions that are wins for the environment and workers. While the simplistic republicans can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, we can find policy solutions that work for disparete and supposedly incompatible groups. So let’s be respectful of other democrat’s positions and work toward solutions that work for all of us. That’s how we win and govern- Our minorities in the legislature and congress are blocking regressive republican laws and preserving Obamacare and other programs with party unity while Trump and the republicans fight amongst themselves and waste their majorities.
Winter weather meeting cancellation policy, a modest suggestion: If the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Warning or similar for the location of a party meeting or event, the event should automatically be rescheduled for another date. No need to wonder if anyone will be there and get lost in blizzards just in case the event is on.
Engineering a victory: Strategy for the 2018 “off year” elections
When planning strategy we tend to get all emotional about issues and candidates. But elections are won by the candidate and party that gets the most votes, and we thus need to let the numbers guide our strategy. I’d like to use the stats for our whole congressional district but we’ve only had one off year election since redistricting and I’d like to have data from more elections. So I’ve taken data from 2006 through 2016 elections from our 3rd most populous county, Kandiyohi, which is fairly representative of the congressional district. Here’s the election results:
Year GOP votes DFL votes Swing voters Total votes 18+ population
2006 6000- 9248 7423- 11488 4622 19054 30223 (2000)
2008 6709-11319 8007-14493 7269 21985
2010 7458- 8835 6751- 8484 3338 17447 32082 (2010)
2012 6990-11240 9805-13033 4751 21546 32078 (2012)
2014 7117- 8349 6709- 9000 3024 16802 32269 (2014)
2016 10313-13099 7266-10872 4459 21970 32343 (2015)
By now you’ve read the numbers crosswise, but to see the trends best you have to read the numbers top to bottom. The lowest vote for a party’s candidate is a good measure of the party base, and the GOP base has been around 6000 to 7500 voters, rising to over 10000 only in 2016. The DFL base has been around 6700 to 7500 in off year elections, rising to nearly 10000 in 2012. “Swing” voters cross over between parties, and about 7200 of them voted in the 2008 presidential election year, dropping to less than 4500 in the hotly contested 2016 race. In off year races the swing voters have dropped from around 4600 in 2006 to barely 3000 in 2016. Total vote in off years has dropped from around 19000 to a bit under 17000, while the voting eligible population has been stable at around 32000.
Time for some analysis… Finding a “win number” like they teach at Camp Wellstone, we find that 9000 votes would have won Kandiyohi County in 2010 or 2014, what with voter turnout barely besting 50%. So we need to find at least 2300 voters to add to our off year base of 6700 or so to win. CD7 has a reputation for swing voters and I like a persuasion strategy that emphasizes them, but we’ve lost a third of them somewhere since 2006. To find those 2300 votes to get us to our 9000 vote “win number”, we’d have to win around three quarters of those swing voters- the GOP is pretty dislikable and we’re good persuaders, but not that good… So swing voter persuasion alone probably won’t win for us in 2018.
The other strategy is a labor intensive “base GOTV” strategy. Nearly 10,000 DFL base voters turned out in Kandiyohi County in 2012, which would easily push our candidates to victory. I’ve done the same analysis in Lyon County and Nobles County in CD1 with similar results- poor off year election turnout and declining numbers of swing voters are pushing us to a “base” strategy. Just finding those over 3000 “drop out democrats” in Kandiyohi County and over 60,000 CD wide will be a challenge, plus all the new DFL voters who aren’t even in our databases yet. Would help if the state DFL would share their data, but the latest they’ve given us was for the 2014 cycle. In the meantime, I’ve got some hunches on how we can use public data to find DFL voters, more on that later…
Respectfully submitted, Dyna Sluyter