Pollsters put a lot of effort into trying to figure out who will actually show up, with varying results. But from the standpoint of political organizing, it’s not so much about figuring out who will show up, as it is figuring out how to get your people to turn out.
Looking at some recent events, there’s some reason to think that the Republicans may have the advantage this time around. Or at least, recent events that depend on people showing up have gone pretty well for folks on the Right.
One example is the massive nationwide display of support for Chick-fil-A in the face of attacks on its owners’ religious beliefs. Within days of appeals for a day of support via email lists, blogs and talk radio, every Chick-fil-A in the country was swamped by lines of people patiently waiting hours to buy a chicken sandwich. Several observers commented that if there had been voting booths in each restaurant, the result would have been a landslide.
Likewise, Dinesh D’Souza’s new documentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” quickly became the nation’s leading documentary and has now expanded to more than 1,800 theaters nationwide. It’s rare for a documentary to get this kind of response, and basically unheard-of for a right-leaning documentary to do so. Once again, when called upon, people showed up.