< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Mea Culpa & Apologia

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mea Culpa & Apologia

My predictions were off, way off. I'm sorry. I was suckered in by the polls just like everyone else. I got NM, CO and IA going to Bush right, but I got just about everything else wrong. Of course, it wouldn't be right to just say, I got it wrong. I also need to offer some sort of apology on my behalf.

Here it is:

The poll numbers weren't what threw me off. What threw me off were the stories, now mostly the stuff of urban legends, of massive registration efforts and high predicted turnout. I had heard from insiders in these groups say to me that 10M new registrations were not improbable. I heard a lot about unprecedented turnout expectations, so much that a 120M total vote was conceded; Charlie Cook even suggested 130M! There is no way we are going to lose if 60% of Voting Aged Pop. votes. You hear? No way at all. But only 117M folks voted. I knew the closer we were to 115M the more likely it was we'd lose. 117M is right in the middle, and we just barely lost. I like Donna Brazile a lot, but she needs to be held accountable here, there weren't the numbers that we needed to win. PA was a success, but that was pretty much it. Everywhere else was a valiant turnout fight, but still a loss. I think sometimes Ms. Brazile fails to appreciate the importance of message in turnout. Organization matters, but without a message that spreads like, quicksilver through the camps, the troops won't show up to fight. If you're in charge of GOTV, you gotta demand fire from the pulpit.