On the Chinese social site douban.com, a girl living in Boston said she went to watch the movie Argo last night. The theater was pretty much empty. Half way through the movie, the girl who was manning the popcorn stand burst into the auditorium and announced very excitedly to the audience, “Obama won! Obama won!”
So Obama won.
Before i was about to regain my confidence in the democratic process and the people of the USA, i remembered that GWB also was elected to his second term in 2004. How bad a president do you have to be before you are denied the 2nd term? Maybe we should all have seen this from a long way off, like Nate Silver has. Maybe all these drama was nothing but hot-air artificially drummed up by the media and talking heads. Closely contested race makes better entertainment and ratings.
But then, maybe election has nothing to do with the job performance. Maybe it is all about the ground game, as depicted in this New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza: Obama’s Ground Game. Apparently the President’s campaign team has been working on the ground for the last five years. They meticulously collected data, analysed the potential demographic that they could persuade, and they did the tedious and hard work of knocking on as many doors as they humanely can, doors that met the demographic need their data analysis told them to target.
And it worked.
Maybe that was how GWB won his two terms too. But this year the Republicans got lazy, they decided to throw hard cash at it, instead. Apparently hard cash can’t beat face to face human interaction.
Maybe it doesn’t really matter what the message those people peddled, the key is to perform that peddling face to face. The key is to talk to those voters face to face and have them feeling guilty if they don’t go and vote.
How else would you explain no one talks about white Evangelical now? While that was all the rage during GWB’s terms? Did all those powerful Evangelicals disappear into the hot air behind the middle class women who happens to be latino this year? It is like the marry go around, who will be the next hot demographic group in in 2016? Probably depends on what the winner of 2016 will be peddling. If you believe the talking head on TV, you would have to believe the country has, overnight, turned from extreme religious zealots into thoughtful middle class who cares about the environment, wants the congress to work together, and to redistribute wealth. :-/
In Chinese, we say 成者为王败者为寇。”The Winner Became the King, the Loser Became the villain. ” Same goes for the message they peddle. Whoever wins the election gets to broadcast their message in the main stream media.
While the real show happens behind the scenes, on the ground, face to face between a campaign volunteer and a potential voter in a county of a swing state that could contribute to the 270 electoral votes statistically.