How the Democrats plan to win the Battle of Pine Bluff

posted at 6:31 pm on August 24, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

What exactly is going on in Arkansas this summer? Frequently cited as one of the Republicans’ best chances to flip a Senate seat, it looks like it shouldn’t be all that hard. It’s true that it has been fertile ground for the Democrats in the past, (Mark Pryor didn’t even have a GOP opponent in 2008) but the President is deeply unpopular, and two years ago, Mitt Romney carried the state by 23 points. The GOP has a fine candidate in Tom Cotton (who I interviewed in April) and Pryor should be on the ropes. And yet, for some reason, the poll of polls still shows Cotton hanging on to a three or four point lead and lists the race as a toss-up. What sort of dark magic are the Democrats working here?

Molly Ball has done some sleuthing and thinks she’s come up with the answer. The Democrats have a secret plan and have been quietly turning and burning in dozens of field offices to register every last Democrat they can find and get them out to the polls in November. The author visited one such field office in Pine Bluff.

The office in Pine Bluff is a cavernous, mostly empty space. Six full-time, paid staff work out of the unit, which is open seven days a week. Long tables line the right side of the room; three staff offices—messy and largely uninhabited thanks to some recent water damage—line the back. A long list of rules scribbled on a paper tacked to the wall begins with these two bullet points: “Goals are mandatory. Meetings are mandatory.” Another handwritten sheet bears a quotation from Barack Obama: “Yes we can.”

Every weekday morning and evening, this space fills up with volunteers. Some stay in to make phone calls; others are sent out with a list of addresses to knock on doors, looking for voters. (On weekends, the effort intensifies.) Weeks like this, when it’s 95 degrees out with 50 percent humidity, it is punishing work, but they have been at it for months, and they will not stop until November. “Oh yeah,” says Collins, a friendly Pine Bluff native in her 40s, when I tell her I’m trying to confirm this field organization really exists. “We real.”

This strategy of finding and wringing out every last vote is nothing new and it’s worked in the past. In the case of Arkansas, there’s a lot of swing in the turnout numbers. In 2010, during the Republican wave, the GOP turned out 451K votes for John Boozman, while Blanche Lincoln only managed 288K. But in the 2012 presidential election, while Romney still roundly trounced Obama, the Democrats turned out 394K. The difference between 394 and 451 is a lot less daunting and shows that the Dems do have a substantial pool of voters if they can just turn them out.

The GOP allegedly has eleven field offices open in Arkansas. The Democrats are looking to squeeze every last vote they can out of the ten counties that Obama carried, such as the home to Pine Bluff. Are we taking this election for granted? Incumbency still carries a lot of weight, particularly with the media, and a big enough ground game in the inner city strongholds could deliver an unpleasant surprise.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Mark Pryor Obama.

You don’t want an Obama representing you, AR…do you?

22044 on August 24, 2014 at 6:39 PM

while Romney still roundly trounced Obama, the Democrats turned out 394K. The difference between 394 and 451 is a lot less daunting and shows that the Dems do have a substantial pool of voters if they can just turn them out.

Hence, the opening of borders. They’re letting illegals fly on airplanes, giving them free stuff.. Most of them are healthy looking adult males and then you have the baby momma’s that made the trek.

Don’t think for a minute that these illegals have not already been given all they need to influence this years elections.

Key West Reader on August 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The Democrats have a secret plan and have been quietly turning and burning in dozens of field offices to register every last Democrat they can find and get them out to the polls in November.

Indeed, and if they can’t find and get people to the polls, they will, as usual, just invent them, and engage in the usual voter fraud.

F X Muldoon on August 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM

“We real.”

For f*cks sake.

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

“We real.”

For f*cks sake.

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Yes, Dey Real

Key West Reader on August 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM

if anyone can screw it up, “GOP we can.”

Smegley on August 24, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

But unfortunately, their vote will count the same as yours….

Barred on August 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi split in DNC contest

Lottie Shackelford, former mayor of Little Rock and DNC veteran, was the candidate backed by Wasserman-Schultz in the bid for chair of the Women’s Caucus of the DNC.

Shackelford managed to carry the vote against Pelosi’s candidate, Alice Germond, former DNC Secretary removed from her post about a year and a half ago by… Debbie Wasserman-Schultz… but later, due to the uproar from Germond ( and Pelosi’s) supporters, installed in a ‘special position’ of “secretary emeritus”.

This was a nasty battle that has caused a clear rift among the DNC activists, but more importantly, begs the question: has Wasserman-Schultz begun the push to replace Pelosi within the hierarchy of the Democratic party?

thatsafactjack on August 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, Udall, Hagan must go the way of Blanche Lincoln. Period.

The land has enough charlatans without them.

Hi J – nice to see the two scumhags at each other :)

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

You “racist”, you – the kids is learning :)

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2014 at 7:09 PM

The dem party will do anything it can to help re-elect Mark, son of David, Pryor. The sitting dem Governor will be out and about on his behalf. His father will campaign for him. Bill will be back again to campaign for him before November. Hillary will even come to Arkansas to help him get re-elected…

Romney was here a few days ago on Cotton’s behalf. The Huckster needs to get his Florida butt back to Arkansas…And Cotton needs to be ready for the upcoming Pryor friendly televised debates…

Gohawgs on August 24, 2014 at 7:11 PM

IOW Chicago has come to Arkinsaw.

Of course, Willie there was bad enough.

formwiz on August 24, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Jazz:

Stop worrying about it. Seeing that 2014 is NOT a Presidential year, expect the demonrat turnout to be more in line with 2010-288K. And barry’s even more unpopular now than in 2010. And we still don’t know the effect of all those barrytax premium hikes coming in the next few weeks to jobs and mailboxes near you. In about 5-6 weeks you’ll be wondering what all the fuzz was about.

conservative hispanic on August 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

has Wasserman-Schultz begun the push to replace Pelosi within the hierarchy of the Democratic party?

thatsafactjack on August 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

That Kansas house hasn’t fallen on Madame Pelosi yet; when it does, maybe then will Debby take her spot as Wicked Witch AND those ruby slippers.

Dolce Far Niente on August 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Good afternoon, my friend. :)

I’m wondering if installing Shackelford was a tactical ploy of the DNC hoping to try to win Arkansas, since she was mayor of Little Rock, and if Wasserman-Schultz is looking to curry favor and advance her own position and strength in the party by advancing and backing Shackelford, and, of course, Arkansas is the former home turf of the Clinton’s, so currying favor there would also appeal to Wasserman-Schultz.

Just because Wasserman-Schultz looks insipid doesn’t necessarily mean she’s really as vapid as she appears.

It certainly appears as though she’s now making overt moves to unseat Pelosi in the party hierarchy.

thatsafactjack on August 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Nothing like going to the poorest, most run down, most unemployed, lowest income, least educated part of the state and cram that Dem message down their throat. Because they are so much better off these days.

Brad on August 24, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Tie every single “Fecal Touch” incident under Obama to Pryor. This should be the basic strategy in every GOP senate race.

Senator Donk voted with Obama AND Harry Reid 99% of the time.

jukin3 on August 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Dolce Far Niente on August 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Good afternoon, Dolce Far Niente.:)

When The Wicked Witch of the West finally falls I’ll be among the first to celebrate, but the irony that it would be one of the Winged Monkeys she’s commanded for so long that ultimately takes her down is inescapable.

thatsafactjack on August 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

But unfortunately, their vote will count the same as yours….

Barred on August 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

And probably more than your vote does!

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 24, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Off Topic (sorry) – first paragraph of Steyn’s latest piece. Not sure why Hotair is so indifferent to this uniquely talented commentator, but whatevs:

A few days ago, James Foley was beheaded by an ISIS jihadist, apparently British by upbringing and passport, if not in his primary identity. The decapitation of an American by an outfit he’d previously dismissed as the “jayvees” of jihad was sufficiently serious for President Obama to postpone his tee time, although not to any useful effect. Aside from the fake, tinny chumminess (all “Jim” this, “Jim that, just as for Ambassador Stevens it was all “Chris” this, “Chris that”) the commander-in-chief reserves for the victims of an enemy he assured us was on the run, Obama’s remarks were fatuous even by his own recent standards, and did not long delay his arrival at the links. As his courtiers at The New York Times assured us with touching if unwitting accuracy:

Obama, Outraged Over Beheading, Vows to Stay on Course

Jaibones on August 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

The GOPe does not fight; neither does it strive; its quiet dignity will carry the day. /sarc

PersonFromPorlock on August 24, 2014 at 7:54 PM

“We real.”

For f*cks sake.

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Yes, Dey Real

Key West Reader on August 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM

I’m surprised she didn’t throw “dawg” in there as well. “We real, dawg”

Judge_Dredd on August 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

“We real [good slaves].”

SouthernGent on August 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Let’s hope the GOP offices don’t have the tired outdated voter lists my wife ran into when she volunteered to do some calls for a local Congressional candidate a couple sessions ago. The lists were full of the “let’s control other lady parts” phone numbers and lots of those were out of service, or didn’t want to hear the “control other people’s lady parts” get out the vote deal she was given and required to talk about. Oh, and our guy lost…

Most folks, back then as well as now, want to hear about other issues like jobs and the economy, or who as the most common sense ideas.

Instead, sometime about a month or so before an election, the bumbling mumbling geriatric GOP leadership will take some time away from their crony back room wheeling and dealing to OK spending for some poorly scripted TV spots that most folks are not going to watch because most everyone (especially the low info crowd) has discovered that Netflix doesn’t get interrupted by political hogwash by either party — ever…

drfredc on August 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

You know, if the RINO squad at the RNC hadn’t boned the Tea Party so badly this year, I might care a lot more about 2012 than I actually do. I find it hard to care about a party that’s starting to look and smell like “Democrat Light”.

I think there’s still hope for the Republican Party, but then again, I think that there’s still hope for America too, so I guess I’m a real optimist.

Gearbox on August 24, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I swear that girl, woman, cracka-hater, future kolludge stewdunt, person looks like the black Divine

StubbornGreenBurros on August 24, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Sorry, forgot to add this to my above post

Yes, Dey Real

Key West Reader on August 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM

StubbornGreenBurros on August 24, 2014 at 11:27 PM

“Oh yeah … we real.”

Chita Collins,a “friendly Pine Bluff (Arkansas) native”

.
For (EXPLETIVE)’s sake.

Midas on August 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM
.

Yes, Dey Real

Key West Reader on August 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM

.
I’m surprised she didn’t throw “dawg” in there as well. “We real, dawg”

Judge_Dredd on August 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

.
Racists !

listens2glenn on August 25, 2014 at 12:46 AM

The Democrats have a secret plan and have been quietly turning and burning in dozens of field offices to register every last Democrat they can find and get them out to the polls in November.

Tinfoil hat, anyone?

Myron Falwell on August 25, 2014 at 6:21 AM

I have worked on get out the vote efforts in the past for Republicans. When the Democrats were having a good year (2006) we were calling Republican voters to try to save a Republican congressional candidate. Unfortunately, I found out that our get out the vote efforts were getting people out to vote for the Democrats because even the Republicans and Independents we were calling were mad at the Republican. Our candidate got trounced. Some of these Democrats they are getting out to vote will be voting for Cotton.

Bart Burk on August 25, 2014 at 7:56 AM

Don’t worry Reince Priebus and the GOP have this covered. They will use the same high-paid consultants who assured us they had the best GOTV operation that would give Romney a victory.

Nothing has changed at the GOP. Every single person who worked on the Romney campaign (including Reince) should have bee fired. They were incompetent then and believing something will change is foolish.

We’ve doubled-down on stupid and I am starting to sincerely doubt the GOP will retake the senate.

Ultimately it is about energizing people to vote. What the GOP “leadership” has done is to demoralize and divide their own members. That ensures only one thing: you will continue to lose and lose big.

But keep pumping the Chamber of Commerce for donations and telling people who don’t agree with you they are “extremists” or something.

Marcus Traianus on August 25, 2014 at 8:18 AM

But unfortunately, their vote will count the same as yours….

Barred on August 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

And probably more than your vote does!

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 24, 2014 at 7:41 PM

More often, anyway.

GWB on August 25, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Another possible example of the party of stupid pulling defeat from the jaws of victory….. How soon, O’ Lord? How soon?

ultracon on August 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM