Your time is your most precious resource, no?
Here is how conservatives can most effectively use their time to convince the incumbent Republicans in our U.S. House of Representatives (the “people’s house”) that conservatives are united and organized for real political action so as to toss them out at the incumbents’ next primary election.
It’s not hard to do. It does not take a lot of time. But . . . it takes actual, physical action. (And, if conservatives do not do this, they may be surprised by some other interest group beating them to the punch.)
Some argue we conservatives must change our culture if we are to change the outcome of the elections. One way to change the culture is to change it where we each live. In our own voting precinct. Through political action in a political party.
Interested? If not, stop reading. What follows will be a colossal waste of your time.
YOUR VOTING PRECINCT – THE KEY
We Americans all live in a voting precinct. Do you know any of the other Republicans in yours? Do you want to? Do you know, for example, that if you become a Republican Party precinct committeeman in your precinct you can obtain a walking sheet of your entire precinct that will tell you the names of all of the voters, their party affiliations (if your state has party registrations), and where they live? And whether they have voted in the last four primary and general elections?
This is information that can help you change the “culture” of the Republicans in your precinct. And change the outcomes of the elections. Because we conservative Republicans need a better “ground game” in terms of getting out the vote. No?
(Oh, and by the way, the GOP “establishment” does NOT want you to do this, conservatives. Don’t believe me? Show me one article or video published online by the Republican National Committee, or in one of their mailers, exhorting grass roots Republicans to become precinct committeemen where they live. Please, prove me wrong!)
MOST IMPORTANT: ABOUT HALF OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PRECINCT COMMITTEMAN SLOTS ARE VACANT
About 400,000 of these slots exist. About 200,000 are vacant.
Let that sink it. Do the math. Read on.
Again, if you are not willing to spend a few hours each month going to your local Republican Party committee meeting to learn about this, and then also spend a few hours during the primary and general election “season” to make an impact on how many conservative Republicans and independents actually turn out to vote, stop reading – because what follows is not for you.
ORGANIZE AND UNITE LOCALLY – WIN LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY
YOU can change the culture (and election outcomes! They are interrelated!) by organizing and uniting like-minded voters to get them to actually cast votes. My experience has been that some good, decent Republican voters feel very alone when it comes to our Party.
Sure, they get bombarded with mailers from the state and national Party committees, and from the candidates, but in recent years they rarely had a knock at the door, or a phone call, from a fellow Republican living in their voting precinct. Those of us who are precinct committeemen in my precinct are beginning to change that. And we are learning that Republicans who turn out to vote in a primary election are 95 percent probable general election voters. Thus, when the precinct committeemen, and the Republican candidates and their volunteers, succeed in greatly increasing turnout in the primary election, getting the vote out in the general becomes an exercise of focusing on those voters who did not turn out in the primary.
STATING THE BRUTAL TRUTH – THE ONLY VOTERS WHO MATTER ARE THOSE WHO VOTE
It sounds almost too obvious to state, but what wins elections is not registered voters.
What wins elections is registered voters who actually vote. (Many candidates do not even “get” this.)
And the absolute best way to “nudge” a conservative voter to the polls is through a personal phone call or personalized literature drop, with a sample ballot already filled out with recommended votes, from one conservative to another. And that is what we have been doing in my precinct since the spring of 2012, and it works.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE – IT’S JUST COMMON SENSE
Way back in 2012, our Arizona primary was August 26. Overall turnout in Maricopa County was 25.3 percent. Republican turnout was 46.3 percent. But, Republican turnout in my precinct was 59 percent. So, for the upcoming general election, the six of us precinct committeeman in our precinct did not have to worry about “nudging” the 700 or so Republicans who voted in the primary.
Instead, we focused on the approximately 400 who didn’t vote. (We had contacted them before the primary but, for some reason, they did not cast a ballot.) Eleven hundred divided by six equals about 183 voters per precinct committeeman. Four hundred divided by six equals about 66 voters per precinct committeeman.
Based on past experience, that will be approximately forty households for each precinct committeeman. Making phone calls to about 40 households, followed up with a literature drop at their doors, based on past experience, takes less than three hours. I can devote three hours before the general election making phone calls to my neighbors, my fellow Republicans, and I know they will be grateful for the reminder. And included in that literature drop will be an invitation to attend the monthly Republican legislative district committee meeting.
The follow-on for this type of neighborhood activity is then attempting to determine, among those voters who turned out in the primary, which of them are conservatives. And, demographically, might be likely to have the time to help get out the vote as precinct committeemen.
I like to target those in the 45- to 65-year old age range. New empty nesters and new retirees. I use a series of litmus test questions as part of a “voter attitudes survey.” If the voter gives the “right” answers, then I ask them if they are happy with the “leadership” of our Party. Usually, the answer is, “Hell, no!” Then I ask if they had an opportunity to cast a vote for the Party’s leadership, if they would take it. Always, the answer is, “Well, yes.”
Then I explain how easy it is to become an appointed, and then an elected, precinct committeeman — and that by becoming one, they will have the right to vote for the Party’s leadership. (Currently, about 60 percent of the Arizona Republican Party’s approximately 10,000 precinct committeeman slots are vacant.)
So, when we change the Party at the precinct level, in every precinct, we start changing our Party into a more conservative party.
POLITICAL PARTY INVOLVEMENT CHANGES OUR CULTURE – NO?
We change our culture by getting conservatives organized and united for political action in their “political neighborhoods,” their voting precincts. And the greater number of precincts we change in this way, the greater impact we will have in changing our Party overall. And then we can begin to do these sorts of things.
Here are two graphics that explain why and how we conservatives must become united “inside” our Party.
How and who to unify:
Why to unify:
TRUTH: OUR REPUBLICAN PARTY IS NOT “CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH” BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH CONSERVATIVES ARE “IN” IT
Let that sink in. Think about it.
Many conservative Republicans complain our Republican Party is not “conservative enough.”
The reason our Republican Party it is not conservative enough? Because not enough conservatives are “in” the Party as precinct committeemen.
It’s that simple.
Are YOU “in” the Party where you live as a voting member of your local Republican Party committee?
Fill up all the vacant precinct committeeman slots with conservatives, and those conservatives (and you) will have changed our Party into a conservative powerhouse.
The precinct committeemen “are” the Party. They are the “elite” of the Party. Become part of the Party elite. It is not hard to do. And the odds are good that about half of the available slots in your precinct are vacant.
You are needed “inside” the Party where you live. Attend your next monthly meeting of your local Party committee, and you will see why.
More here: The Precinct Project’s Blog.
I hope this helps.
Daniel J. Schultz graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 and served as an Army Human Intelligence Officer. He now practices law. He has been a Republican Party precinct committeeman since 2007 and was a co-winner of the Conservative HQ Liberty Prize. State-specific and other information relating to The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy can be found at http://precinctproject.us and http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.