Turnout turns into Victory
The Detroit News ran this story today entitled “Unlikely voters pick Kilpatrick,” which described the Mayor’s effectiveness in mobilizing “uncommon” voters. To be clear, an “uncommon” voter is defined here as one how has never or has rarely voted in the past (excluding 1st time voters).
The story drives home an important point for all those who are interested in the electoral process: inspiring action will lead to victory, whereas inspiring apathy leads to defeat. An example used in the story is a middle-aged, unemployed, “uncommon” voter. This man should have been chomping at the bit to vote for the challenger, but instead he cast his ballot in favor of the incumbent. Why? I say it’s because he was inspired enough to say that I want to give this guy another chance, and not willing to take his chances on not voting (remaining “uncommon”) and letting other citizens decide who his Mayor would be.
All candidates care about mobilizing their “base,” their core of supporters who back them no matter what. Truly effective campaigning, however, is about reaching far beyond that to form relationships with what this article terms “unlikely voters.” It’s easy to get people excited about something or someone they are already excited about. The challenged is inciting that same passion in the otherwise uninterested.
As I’ve stated in this blog before, I support the Mayor in his second term. I applaud the efforts by his team to mobilize Detroiters to vote. I see the recount as an activity that will solidify the already certified victory. I am encouraged through conversations with the Mayor that he will not be on our list next year to be the incumbent people vote against.