Kevin Drum is out with a post today refuting the idea that Democratic candidates want to scare liberals into voting. He quotes a friend of his who believes that Republicans vote no matter what, rain or shine, but that Democrats often stay home if they believe their candidate is going to win. It’s a widely held sentiment and one that I’m partial to but Drum doesn’t believe the campaigns themselves actually buy it:
But there’s an odd thing about this: professional politicians apparently don’t believe it. At all. Oh sure, they’ll keep sending out the scary emails all the way through November 6. “Folks, there are a bunch of races that are simply too close to call,” screams the latest plea in my inbox from Dick Durbin. “Contribute $7 now, before time runs out.” (Really? $7?) Publicly, though, presidential campaigns pretty much never do this. In fact, they usually go to absurd lengths to demonstrate that their campaign is a juggernaut that will sail to victory. They apparently believe—and so do I—that people are energized by being associated with a winner. Confidence in victory boosts turnout, it doesn’t suppress it.
Except, President Obama’s campaign has spent the past week trying to terrify liberals into voting and giving money. Just look at the recent emails I’ve received from the campaign (before Hurricane Sandy):
That’ certainly looks to me like the Obama campaign is trying to terrify Democrats into voting. I just went back a few days in these emails and, to be fair, the campaign emails before these were a bit more positive. But these are the more recent ones and they are extremely pessimistic! Ezra Klein also had a post on this a week ago. Drum’s friend is right – the campaign is worried that overconfident liberals won’t vote and is doing everything it can to lower their confidence levels.