Politico: OFA flops on first campaign

posted at 12:51 pm on May 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The first campaign after getting Barack Obama re-elected, of course, but still notable for OFA’s debut performance afterward.  Perhaps this is less a reflection on OFA than on the issue they chose to tackle first, but it’s still a high-profile flop. And in part, it’s because they couldn’t even organize themselves:

President Barack Obama’s man in North Dakota couldn’t pitch in to help shame Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for her vote against gun control — he was busy with his new job selling Toyotas.

Organizing for Action’s top Montana official wouldn’t canvass the state to turn up the heat on Sen. Max Baucus because there was no reimbursement for the gas money.

Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski haven’t had to worry about running up against OFA’s influence there, since Obama’s former state director there has turned back to building up her own political consulting business — “I need to get to making money,” she said.

OFA’s pledge to punish senators who voted against gun control was the first big test of the group’s reach – and, undoubtedly, a difficult one, given that many of the senators voting no were in deep-red states where Obama lost badly. Even measured against those odds, there are almost no successes to point to: the group didn’t sway a single vote for the background check proposal, and so far, they haven’t been able to make any of those who voted against it feel any heat.

Even in states Obama carried handily – places like Ohio and New Hampshire – the group couldn’t hold big rallies, blanket the airwaves with TV ads or motivate enough supporters to match the volume of phone calls pro-gun advocates. Asked for demonstrations of the strong effort they were mounting, OFA staff pointed to “tweet your senator” pushes they encouraged in the days after the vote.

Hey, they’re still sending out lots of e-mails, though … and rather creepy ones, too.  I received one last night from “info@barackobama.com” that said they’ve been checking up on me, and discovered that I haven’t signed their anti-gun petition yet:

The response to our gun violence prevention petition has been crazy good so far.

More than 700,000 OFA supporters from all over the country have added their names to call forexpanding background checks on gun sales, and we’re getting ready to deliver those signatures to congressional leaders next week.

According to our most recent records, you’ve told us you’re fighting to reduce gun violence — but you’re not yet on this list:

– Petition status: Unsigned
– Suggested action:Add your name here

Please add your name now and then forward this email to five friends, post it on Facebook, tweet the link … get it out there however you can …

With a marketing plan like that, how could OFA have failed to impress people?  The numbers themselves tell the story.  OFA has been working this issue for months, and yet they could only get 700,000 of their e-mail list of 4 million donors to sign up for it.  That’s a success rate of only 17.5% among their own membership — which, we should note, amounts to 3.1% of the electorate that voted in the last presidential election.  That’s not a very impressive showing for a petition drive, especially among such a (mainly) self-selecting group.  If 80% of OFA’s list haven’t signed those petitions, it calls the “organizing” part of their name into serious question.

On top of that, OFA and the media continue to overestimate the impact of this issue on the public.  Even with the full-court press from the White House and the media, the issue of guns consistently ranks among the lowest priorities for voters.  In the Gallup series, the percentage of people ranking it the highest priority peaked at 6%, but mostly stayed at 4% — and remember that this would also include people who think protecting gun rights is their top priority for the federal government, too.

The truth is that the effort by the White House and Senate Democrats failed because they (a) demonized gun owners from the start, (b) focused first on an assault-weapons ban that was never going to fly, which led to (c) a demolition of any hope that gun owners would think their push for expanded background checks were benign to traditional gun rights.  We can also add: (d) none of the proposed laws had anything to do with what happened in Newtown, Aurora, or Tucson, the tragedies that Democrats continually referenced in pushing their legislative agenda.

Under those circumstances, the effort was doomed to failure — but OFA’s inability to rouse even its own donor base is noteworthy for its futility.

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The response to our gun violence prevention petition has been crazy good so far.

I prefer way wicked cool.

It looks like a bunch of snot-nosed, pissants, complete with 2013 Ivy League degrees in Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, Command Economics, et al., have found their niche.

OhEssYouCowboys on May 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Sweet.

totherightofthem on May 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

You are the potter, I am the clay.

tom daschle concerned on May 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Obama Failed Again=OFA

Deano1952 on May 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

“I need to get to making money,” she said.

Pish posh. At some point, I think you’ve made enough money.

Washington Nearsider on May 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

700k signatures? I’ve been told that 279 million people support this initiative, so how in the world do they only have 700,000 signatures?

That’s like .25%

ButterflyDragon on May 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Now I find this funny! Keep up the good work ofa, bang up job!

A bit O/T, are y’all listening to Rush on bho’s speech in mexico today? Man oh man, he is trashing the US and its citizens! I would think a thread will be up soon to cover this?
L

letget on May 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

OFA has been working this issue for months, and yet they could only get 700,000 of their e-mail list of 4 million donors to sign up for it.

Let’s see, it’s an e-mail list of “donors” and Ed “received [an e-mail from them] last night”… Ergo, Ed apparently donated to OFA. Tsk, tsk, tsk……….

KS Rex on May 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The response to our gun violence prevention petition has been crazy good so far.

Groovy Ed. You’re really Boss.

RadClown on May 3, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Withholding my opinion on this until Harvard Law School graduate nonpartisan weighs in on the issue.

NotCoach on May 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Withholding my opinion on this until Harvard Law School graduate nonpartisan weighs in on the issue.

NotCoach on May 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Bwahahaha

Washington Nearsider on May 3, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski haven’t had to worry about running up against OFA’s influence there, since Obama’s former state director there has turned back to building up her own political consulting business — “I need to get to making money,” she said.

Tip to state director. Electing Obama is not the proper first step for making money.

Doofus.

NavyMustang on May 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

GAYS / GUNS / AMNESTY !

Next up for OFA…….US robbed Mexico of the Southwest!!

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:14 PM

GAYS / GUNS / AMNESTY !

Next up for OFA…….US robbed Mexico of the Southwest!!

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:14 PM

With a little rearranging… Gays/Amnesty/Guns

The GAG offensive.

Fallon on May 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

O bama
f lukes
A merica

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Idiots

cmsinaz on May 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Low numbers like this are precisely why liberals can’t let go of the issue of guns. They can’t handle that their pet peeve is just not an important matter among the general public. Jobs are, which is what liberals want to ignore.

Liberals might get a lot farther is they focused on the right thing for once. Then again, if they did, they wouldn’t be liberal.

Liam on May 3, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Withholding my opinion on this until Harvard Law School graduate nonpartisan weighs in on the issue.

NotCoach on May 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Pretty sure it’s still whimpering in a corner…

bigmacdaddy on May 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Idiots

cmsinaz on May 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Happy Friday!

How did Mourning Joe irritate you this morning?

Liam on May 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Organizing For A-holes.

The Rogue Tomato on May 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Let’s see, it’s an e-mail list of “donors” and Ed “received [an e-mail from them] last night”… Ergo, Ed apparently donated to OFA. Tsk, tsk, tsk……….

KS Rex on May 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM

No, it’s an e-mail list of people who signed up to receive campaign e-mails on the barackobama.com site.

I did that back in September and I got the same e-mail Ed got yesterday. I haven’t donated a penny to Mr. Obama. I just get lots of e-mails telling me what they think about the issues — which, from an oppo research point of view, is valuable.

unclesmrgol on May 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Moronically moronic morons moronically counting on other morons to moronically support their moronic campaigns…

Or this:
Organizing For A-holes.
The Rogue Tomato on May 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Scrumpy on May 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

It’s chain mail at its coarsest.

unclesmrgol on May 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

They wouldn’t reimburse gas costs for the activists… who were supposed to drive all over Montana… So they said “no thanks”…

That is what happened here.

I’d like to believe the DNC machine has been bled white but it always seems to be able to tap public funding when things get critical.

Hopefully they do that one too many times and it causes critical funding bridges to be burned.

Karmashock on May 3, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Here was OFA’s laughable effort at Ted Cruz’s Dallas office- swamped without much effort by pro-Second Amendment forces.

michaelo on May 3, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Hey Liam
Missed the show…. the daily gun rant probably occurred

cmsinaz on May 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM

In the Gallup series, the percentage of people ranking it the highest priority peaked at 6%, but mostly stayed at 4% — and remember that this would also include people who think protecting gun rights is their top priority for the federal government, too.

Unfortunately, most of that 4% is comprised of media employees.

rockmom on May 3, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Hey Liam
Missed the show…. the daily gun rant probably occurred

cmsinaz on May 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM

You did yourself a favor by missing it, I imagine. I never watch.

Why you put yourself through that is totally beyond me. I have to presume you’re a much stronger person than I am. My tolerance for bullsnot hovers somewhere around zero. :-)

Liam on May 3, 2013 at 1:42 PM

The response to our gun violence prevention petition has been crazy good so far.

Oh.. but has anyone seen the Drudge headline? Obama giving a speech down in Mexico….. blames Mexican violence on… are you ready?… guns coming from… the US.

He must mean the guns his administration sold to the Mexican drug cartels. Do you think?

Where is the GOP? This is so ripe.

http://www.drudgereport.com/

JellyToast on May 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Obama’s hard-core backers haven’t yet come to the realization that the swing voters who elected him in 2008 and re-elected him last year aren’t into his policies as much as their into the idea of Obama as president, and how it reflects on their own personal open-mindedness and tolerance for having voted for him.

They like the idea of Obama in the White House. They don’t like the idea of Obama doing anything in the White House. That’s why OFA can’t get any groundswell support six months after the president won re-election, because once you get by the 25 or so percent of hard-core liberals who voted for him, the rest are perfectly happy just to have Obama as a symbol, akin to that robotic Abe Lincoln they had at Disneyland.

Smile, wave at the crowd and just be there to make us feel good about ourselves, the low-info voters are saying to Obama. Just don’t expect us to give up our free time and turn out in mass for your pet projects. We’re not that much into you.

jon1979 on May 3, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Has there EVER been a President more committed to the cutting down of this country that Barack Obama?

EVER?

Gays: Destroy the traditional family and replace with a moldable government sanctioned citizen raising unit.

Guns: Disarm the citizens so you can do anything to them you want.

Amnesty: Destroy the borders, break entitlements, and break the power of the Middle income Americans and replace them with poor Mexican or other dependents on the Federal Government. And they will be Democrat voters forever. You will have one party rule in the U.S.

……….and yet, WE CAN’T FIND THE REPUBLICANS TO EFFECTIVELY OPPOSE this?

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

http://www.drudgereport.com/

JellyToast on May 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I bet Obama believes AKs are made in the US.

Liam on May 3, 2013 at 1:48 PM

…….and yet, WE CAN’T FIND THE REPUBLICANS TO EFFECTIVELY OPPOSE this?

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Boehner’s helping to pass it. He trusts Obama. He said so. And he said he doesn’t need Republicans to pass Democrat gun control.

Yes… it’s like a bad drug induced hallucination and you can’t wake up.

JellyToast on May 3, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Liam. I dont like the other am shows so I have this in the background…. I do it so you won’t have to :)

cmsinaz on May 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

……….in fact, we have the republican leadership pushing for AMNESTY when they know full well that 20-25% of Mexico will flood across the Southern border, watering down traditional American voters and our national identity?

TRAITORS to this nation they are.

trai·tor (trtr)
n.
One who betrays one’s country, a cause, or a trust, especially one who commits treason.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/traitor

….and Boehner will use the Democrats in the House to join with the 70 or so republicans he fully owns to push through AMNESTY?

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/04/11/boehner-theres-no-rule-that-says-i-need-a-republican-majority-in-order-to-pass-bills-in-the-house/

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) signaled Thursday that he may continue to bypass a House Republican rule [i.e. the "Hastert Rule"] that has required any legislation being voted upon to have the support of a majority of the GOP conference…

He said at a news conference Thursday that he will continue to try and follow it in spirit, but also suggested he might well violate it for upcoming votes on guns, immigration and the budget.

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

http://www.pewresearch.org/2013/04/30/immigration-tip-sheet-on-u-s-public-opinion/

While a survey conducted in March found that 61% of Mexicans would not move to the U.S. even if they could do so, a sizable minority (35%) said they would move to the U.S. if they could, including 20% who say they would emigrate without authorization.

https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z83fj27m8fa7gq_&met_y=population&idim=country:MX&dl=en&hl=en&q=population%20of%20mexico

Thanks to Obama signalling his happiness with the flooding of the border today in Mexico City could we expect this remaining 20% to start the trek to El Paso now? San Diego? Tucson?

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:55 PM

He said at a news conference Thursday that he will continue to try and follow it in spirit, but also suggested he might well violate it for upcoming votes on guns, immigration and the budget.

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

He should lose his speakership over that. Does he think that any dems would support him for speaker in the next house vote just because of this goofy notion of “bipartisanship”? That man must be removed from his position, he is destroying what shred of credibility the Republican Party had left,

AZfederalist on May 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I think the analysis might be making a lot of assumptions. I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I very rarely sign on-line petitions even if it’s from groups or issues I support. In fact, I get so many emails that I just send them to spam now.

lea on May 3, 2013 at 2:08 PM

PappyD61 on May 3, 2013 at 1:14 PM

We secured the border in 1847.

Jocundus on May 3, 2013 at 2:08 PM

The only reason Barack Obama won elections is because the Democrats WANTED him to win elections. He’s impotent on his own because the Democrats aren’t interested.

mintycrys on May 3, 2013 at 2:08 PM

We now know that Obama’s reelection was based on extraordinarily high turnout among minority voters, especially young blacks, and a somewhat depressed turnout among white middle-class voters.

The young blacks weren’t voting on policy, it was a pro-Obama racial vote, period. They weren’t joining the “movement” against capitalism and America and guns, or promising to be Democratic operatives. They just voted for Obama. Once he’s gone, most of them will be, too.

OFA took advantage of the cultural phenomenon of “first black President” to win two elections, they aren’t political movers and shakers and geniuses. They aren’t even particularly smart, other than using social media to harass their fans so they didn’t forget to vote early and often.

Adjoran on May 3, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Please add your name now and then forward this email to five friends, post it on Facebook, tweet the link … get it out there however you can …

So, this is a chain e-mail? “You must send this to five friends, or your healthcare costs will catastrophically skyrocket!” They could have at least offered you the Nieman-Marcus cookie recipe………

GWB on May 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Hey, they’re still sending out lots of e-mails, though … and rather creepy ones, too.

Well, if there’s one descriptor I had to pick for Jimmie Messina…

Marcola on May 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Well, if there’s one descriptor I had to pick for Jimmie Messina…

Marcola on May 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I much prefer this Messina. :O

GWB on May 3, 2013 at 3:03 PM

700,000? Really? And who pulled that number out of their ass? I’ll believe 700k when I see a verified list.

GarandFan on May 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

According to our most recent records, you’ve told us you’re fighting to reduce gun violence — but you’re not yet on this list:

– Petition status: Unsigned
– Suggested action:Add your name here

Please add your name now and then forward this email to five friends, post it on Facebook, tweet the link … get it out there however you can …

Post it on HA.

Now you’re gettin’ with the program, Ed!!

oldleprechaun on May 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

unclesmrgol on May 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Yeah, I figured that was the case. I was just giving Ed the business, since he specifically said “they could only get 700,000 of their e-mail list of 4 million donors to sign up for it”.

KS Rex on May 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Yeah, I figured that was the case. I was just giving Ed the business, since he specifically said “they could only get 700,000 of their e-mail list of 4 million donors to sign up for it”.

KS Rex on May 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Knowing the ways of the REB, it’s probably a part of signing up for Food Stamps.

slickwillie2001 on May 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Consider who the people in OFA are, and what their worldview is. Proceed to not being astonished that they couldn’t organize an orgy in a cathouse.

RebeccaH on May 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM

So “Organizing for America” is now “organizing for action”. Seems that since Obama was “re-elected” they don’t feel the need to pretend they’re “for America” anymore.

Refreshing (in a sneaky, anal-expulsive kind of way.)

Squiggy on May 4, 2013 at 7:11 AM