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GOS is Still Good: "On Coattails"

chicago dyke's picture

Via Those Who Rise From the Ashes, comes this promising series that looks to be worth bookmarking, for the next time you are talking about "coattails." I have no opinion on them and how/if they will be important in this race, yet. But reading this, I'm likely to develop one quickly. Mr. Subliminal wants you to also think about "electability" arguments.

See, GOS is still doing "interesting" and valuable work. I think that's another meme we need to kill. Sure, it's a festival of poo-throwing monkeys most of the time. But then you get a hard working newbie or low information but good information type who doesn't know where else to post. Kick individuals there all you want, including Lord Lucifer himself, I don't care. But the site retains some usefulness and we shouldn't forget that. If for no other reason than there isn't really an alternative community like it, yet.

...I know, I know, but I gave myself til 10 get get going on the noncomputer stuff and this one seemed like it would get forgotten quickly if people didn't propagate it...

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Submitted by brucedixon on

Haven't done any serious historical research, don't have any arcane equations to back it up, but my empirical take from personal experience working in fifteen or twenty campaigns and working in a big city elections department for seven years tells me that coattails often DO matter, and that turnout IS driven most often, but not always or entirely, by the top of the ticket. The main reason for this is that the corporate media do not cover state legislative, or often even congressional races, so your low-information voter often has little idea what is at stake or who's running down-ticket. But they will give some coverage to a statewide contest or a presidential one.

So if you are running a congressional or a state senate campaign --- and I have taken part in a few such exercises --- coattails do seem to matter.

What other explanation can anybody offer for the typical patterns where nearly a 100% vote for a candidate at the top of the ticket, and the further down you go, the fewer votes are cast? By the time you get down to votes for judges and such, less than half the folks are voting. So it is hard to see what numbers and equations one can come up with to say that turnout is driven from somewhere OTHER than the top of the ticket, except in cases where there are deeply felt local issues and effective ground war type campaigns to get that local vote out.

Bruce Dixon

A. Citizen's picture
Submitted by A. Citizen on

Almost immediately....

I've quarantined the joint until they round up every single feces flinging primate and ban their red asses.

There is almost nothing of use coming out of there and for what?

Senators TweedleDee and TweedleDumber could care less what the community thinks.

I'm gonna hide at my humble blog and contemplate policy and principle. Something progressives usta be interested in.


I've shit him.

A. Citizen

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

a firm opinion. bruce: i hear you. but- is it a national phenom, or something more complicated? if so, how is strategy to be formed? you know as well as i do: many 'national' campaings don't give a shit for how they could/will/won't help "local" campaigns, despite the fact that doing so "helps the party" and thus helps any national office holder. only rethugs think like that, friend.

IN: i'm working up, i'll read that in a minute.

AC: heh. you know me, i hate no one, in truth. GOS and that crew may not be 'like me,' but i will still defend them. even when it's wrong. i won't give up on GOS and i don't think others should. if only because: doing so make republicanz happy.