Campaign 2016

Posted: 2/18/15


by Diane W. Collins


The Ground Game Starts Now...


Republicans had a landslide victory in the 2014 midterms. Yahoooo! But, we need to wield power successfully. What do I mean by that? The effort on the Hill needs to be coordinated and exhibit a strong game plan. If Republicans can't do that our new found power will be meaningless. The liberal Left will take every opportunity we give them to make us look like fools. And that, my friends, won't help us win in 2016.


The ground game starts now. Whether you are interested in finding out more about your state or all the intricacies of the election process you can find the information online. There are some incredible resources out there that will bring you up to speed quickly. Many of these resources have been listed in the section below entitled Further Reading.


My favorite resource is Larry Sabato's, "Crystal Ball." Dr. Larry J. Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics and Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at University of Virginia is highly renowned for his campaign research and predictions.


Another of my favorite resources is The Cook Political Report. One reason goes beyond the fact that the information is quite good. The Cook Report, described as non-partisan, is the brain child of Charlie Cook, founder, editor, publisher... and ardent Democrat. I always like peeking into the opposition's camp. Non-partisan or not, it is definitely difficult for anyone with strong political views to completely expunge them from any work product. Look for hidden strategy... clues. The Cook Report does require a subscription for in-depth information but there are many tools you can use on their web site without having to pay. For example, the front page contains an inter-active election map that will allow you to drive down into the status of recent Presidential, Senate, House and Gubernatorial races. Great for those following and looking for a historical perspective to local elections and their impact on national election results. For those willing to pay the $350 subscription fee for the Cook Political Report, the Senate Rating sheet shows the vulnerability of the Senate races for seats up this cycle. The seats are ranked individually by party and state showing ratings based on Solid D, Likely D, Lean D, Toss-up, Lean R, Likely R, and Solid R. The House Rating sheet is obviously much more complex listing all 435 seats according to their representatives and congressional districts. A really interesting aspect of the House Rating sheet is the PVI ranking. This is the Partisan Voting Index which is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole. The rating is designated with either an R+ or D+ followed by a number indicating how many times the national average the district voted for one party or the other in the last two presidential elections.


More than field research we need to know the "Political Who's Who of 2016"... on both sides. Who are the movers and shakers that believe they'll shape the course of American history? That's not just the candidates but those who run their campaigns as well. It's also the PACs. More on this later, but for now don't forget to check out the other resources located in Further Reading. Determine which races are important to you and get involved! See you out there.