Monday, May 17, 2004

Winning Elections

by Asim Jalis

Here is a simple way the Democrats (or the Republicans) could win the elections. Forget about trying to get people to convert over to their side on different issues. Too hard, and too much work. Instead run a voting campaign in which they encourage people to come out and vote . . . except the campaign is designed to appeal to a particular kind of person. Suppose the majority of Hispanics in a state vote Democrat. Then all the Democrats need to do is run some ads in Spanish encouraging people to come out and vote. A high Hispanic turnout will guarantee them a victory. If the people who watch Friends vote Democrat they need to run ads during the show that encourage people to vote. My point is that instead of trying to win over supporters from the other side they should find ways of getting the people who support them fired up enough to come out and vote. Most political ads say something like: "Vote for Kerry and not Bush because he supports labor or he will improve the economy." The goal is to convince people to "believe" a statement. The problem is that beliefs are irrelevant. The important thing is votes. There is some correlation of course. But why take the indirect route. Instead of trying to increase the number of people who believe Kerry should be president, why not take that number as a given and increase the percentage of that number that shows up at the polls. This is just one of many small strategies that together could be used to win an election. But if a group assumes that they will lose then these little ideas won't occur to them.