The DSCC in 2014: 4000 Paid Staff, As Many as Obama 2012?

DSCC field organizing

We’ve talked already about early signs of the potential of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s field organizing to deliver votes in places like Iowa and North Carolina, but the SCALE of the operation they’re building is impressive in itself. According to a recent HuffPo piece by Michael McAuliff and Sam Stein, the DSCC is looking at having 4000 paid staff by Election Day this year. 4000! For reference, Obama 2012 ended with slightly more than 4000 people on the payroll, several times more than Mitt Romney had working on his behalf.

As Stalin said, “quantity has a quality all its own,” and the DSCC is assembling what has to be an unprecedented political operation outside of a race for president. We can assume that most of the paid staff are field organizers and data analysts, many of whom will parachute into battleground states to work the final weeks before Election Day. Combine their efforts (and those of some 60,000 volunteers) with a flood of TV ads, and it’s possible that a bunch of political observers will be very surprised as the results come in on the evening of November 5th.

Details on the DSCC’s ground game, via the HuffPo piece:

…an unprecedented effort in a midterm election year, called the Bannock Street Project after the location of Bennet’s 2010 campaign office. It’s a $60 million investment in the idea that good data can produce more efficient politics that, in turn, gets complacent Democrats to the polls and inactive voters engaged.

For the first time this campaign season, Cecil revealed what this theory means in practical terms. To date, the DSCC has built a political army of 51,000 volunteers who have taken campaign action — “people that have actually made phone calls, registered voters, knocked on doors.” That includes 9,966 volunteers in North Carolina, 2,688 in Alaska, 3,965 in Arkansas, 6,218 in Iowa, an estimated 6,000 in Georgia, 5,500 in Colorado, 3,250 in Kentucky, and 3,700 in New Hampshire.

The total is likely to reach 61,000 by the election. In addition, the DSCC expects to have 4,000 paid staffers by November, according to Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter.

Impressive…and a sign of things to come. How big will field organizing be in 2016? Plenty big — trust me.


Written by
Colin Delany
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