June 5, 2023

Beating the Dems at Their Own Election Game

If they want to regain the presidency, Republicans had better learn how to harvest the vote — especially in the swing states.

Now that the American Left has wrecked Election Day by turning it into Election Season, we on the Right have a decision to make: We can either continue to complain about it, or we can resolve to beat the Democrats at their own ballot-harvesting game.

If we do the former, we’ll likely resign ourselves to principled loserdom for all national elections going forward. If we do the latter, we might just find a way to win the presidency again. Because if pathetic Joe Biden can, ahem, earn 81 million votes from the comfort of his basement, then any Democrat can. Indeed, if Uninspiring Joe can get more population-adjusted votes than electrifying Barack Obama did in 2008, it means we’ve entered a whole new world of electioneering.

Democrats have institutionalized the fraud-filled election device of bulk-mail balloting, and it’s likely here to stay. Merely complaining about the corruptive nature of mail-in balloting, however, will ensure that we win arguments and lose elections. And if that’s the case, then we need an HTV strategy — a harvest-the-vote strategy — from here forward.

Here, it’s important to remember that Joe Biden didn’t beat Donald Trump in 2020 by seven million votes, more than five million of which were in California. He beat him by a razor-thin 43,000 votes across three states: Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Ignore the more than 155 million cast nationwide; flip those three states, and Trump wins reelection.

Trump no doubt knows this, and he’s now come around to the idea of early voting and following the Democrats’ ballot-harvesting lead in all the swing states. Because if the 2024 election is close, it’ll be decided not in the electoral treasure troves of California and New York and Texas and Florida but in these six states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

As for ballot harvesting, The Wall Street Journal reported in February on the Trump team’s turnabout:

[Trump] remains critical of various forms of early voting, advisers say, but his campaign is nonetheless mounting an effort to pursue such votes after Democrats excelled at doing so in recent elections. His team is studying state laws governing absentee and mail-in voting as well as ballot collection, called “ballot harvesting” by critics, in which third parties gather and turn in votes, people familiar with the effort said.

It amounts to a significant shift for Mr. Trump and comes as GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, say the party squandered chances in recent elections by focusing too much on Election Day turnout.

We should be clear about how the Democrats did it in 2020. Yes, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the FBI helped them rig the election. But beyond that, the Democrats also did plenty of their own legwork. They used nearly half a billion dollars of Zuckerbucks to target the Democrat-controlled areas of the swing states — the places where ballot stuffing and ballot harvesting and “get out the vote” operations could yield the greatest results. That’s how, for example, voter turnout in nursing homes in and around Milwaukee was nearly 100% in 2020.

“We recently alerted you that a Soros-linked Super PAC has begun targeting 6 battleground states with a $75 MILLION spending blitz to buy Crooked Joe the White House,” read a recent Trump campaign fundraising email. “But there’s something important we want to add … some of those states have legalized BALLOT HARVESTING.”

There’s that word: ballot harvesting. In states where it’s legal, Republicans need to embrace it. And they need to fund it. And they need to fight for near 100% voter turnout in Republican-rich areas. DeSantis is on board, too. “We’re gonna do ballot harvesting,” he said recently in Iowa. “I’m not gonna play with one hand tied behind my back.”

To that point, as conservative columnists Mark and Mollie Hemingway recently put it:

Instead of election day, we now have an “election season” — during which, over a period of months, we flood homes across the country with tens of millions of mail-in ballots, regardless of whether secretaries of state or local registrars have any idea if those ballots are being sent to the correct addresses. This in a country where 11% of residents move every year. We then wait for sophisticated partisan turnout operations funded by activist billionaires and run by ideological statisticians to round up those ballots in entirely selective ways.

Hear, hear.

Nearly two decades ago, conservative talker Hugh Hewitt wrote a book called If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat. He’s right in principle, but the Democrats’ success in destroying Election Day has made it far easier for them to cheat; far easier for them to “find” the mail-in ballots they need to win the crucial swing states. Only by embracing this new ballot-harvesting reality — only by committing to harvest the vote — can Republicans hope to turn the electoral tide of Election Season.


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