November 3, 2008

Democrat & Republican HQs, Colorado

Posted in Outside Malaysia tagged at 1:47 pm by egalitaria

We were brought to both the Democrat and Republican Campaign Headquarters of Denver, Colorado.

Democratic Headquarters Colorado

Democratic Headquarters Colorado

At the Democrat HQ, we were briefed by Pat Waak, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. Experienced in advising on campaigns, during her tenure Colorado maintained its Democratic majorities in the State House and Senate, and added a US House of Reps seat, plus electing a Democratic Governor and state treasurer. The state has increasingly become more pro-Democrat over recent years.

Democratic Campaigners Working Hard

Democratic Campaigners Working Hard

This was the strategy adopted by the Democrat party in the state of Colorado:

  1. Just as Obama’s national campaign of “every State counts”, ensuring 50 (+1) different campaigns for all its states, it adopted an “every County counts” approach, targeting all 64 counties in Colorado.
  2. Targeted the population all along the north-south highway.
  3. Get the young people involved!
  4. Take advantage of the fact that the Republicans themselves have been unhappy about their own party over Iraq, the Federal Deficit, and the extreme position of Republicans “taking their party away from them”.
  5. Focus on the 4 key issues of the state: healthcare, education, economy and the environment.
  6. Use unique “GOTV” (Get Out The Vote) techniques.
  7. Technology: Tracking responses to opponent messaging, tracking reports, have a team to do opposition research.
  8. Get lawyers out on Election Day to monitor any possible voter fraud. They have 3000 lawyers to do the job.
  9. Use coalitions: labour union, disabled groups, ethnic specific (African American, Latin American), gay-lesbian.
Republican Headquarters Colorado

Republican Headquarters Colorado

Political Director Ryan Call of the Colorado Republican Party met with us. He is also campaign manager for Bob Schaffer, running for Senator seat. The discussion centred mainly around Schaffer’s messaging strategy, which in all likelihood will be influenced by national-level McCain messaging. During the Mid-Term elections (this is in between Presidential elections where Americans vote for Congressmen or State level reps), local issues usually drive how people vote. However, national issues become more of a priority during Presidential elections and particularly so this time.

Some quick reactions to the differences between the two campaign headquarters of Denver:

  1. Party workers/volunteers at the Democrat HQ were of mixed ages and ethnicities (black, Asians) whereas those at the Republican HQ were all white.
  2. All volunteers at the Democrat HQ had a laptop each, working furiously on them. I spotted perhaps only two laptops in the Republican HQ.
  3. The volunteers at the Democrat HQ practically swamped us with enthusiastic greetings and chucked dozens of stickers and badges to us; the Republican HQ had these on the tables which we picked up ourselves and were warm and friendly but only when spoken to.
Republicans Making Phonecalls to "Get Out The Vote"

Republicans Making Phonecalls to "Get Out The Vote"



  1. Amen sister! I think I’m even more keen and understand the democratic process this year, after I’ve watched the West Wing hehehe. But, honestly, all the Christian/American values exertion and all that individual freedoms, small government BS is so UMNO. It’s funny how nothing really is that much different if you come to think about it. Palin and McCain and their constant Democract/Obama are not as Christian, not as American, not as patriotic speeches are so the kind of stuff you hear here. 😦 Am off to watch it here at the US Embassy…. but nothing like the opportunity you have though! Great updates chicakadee, come home and let’s meet up for drinks and chat about it! HUGS!

  2. why said,

    interesting observations. seems like the democrats have a more inclusive stand on what it means to be american – bangsa America? … as opposed to just the ‘bangsa putih’ republican camp… unless the situation is unique to Denver, which i doubt 😉

  3. sim kwang yang said,

    I get the impression from the republicans that if you are not white and christian, you are not and cannot be American. Reminds me of UMNO.

  4. egalitaria said,

    It’s not just an impression. It’s exactly as you say, and this is what has frustrated many of the Republicans themselves (the more open, tolerant and centre leaning ones), pushing them to vote Obama this time round.

    Yes, there are precise parallels to be drawn between UMNO and the extreme Republican Right. Conservative Malays and Conservative Christians.

    “You’re either with us or against us. UMNO or Unpatriotic”.

    Meesh – will be back soon and catch up! 🙂

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