To: Interested Parties
FR: Meredith Kelly, DCCC Communications Director
RE: GOTV Surge in GA-06
DT: April 10, 2017
From the start, the DCCC recognized that the Georgia 6th special election would be extraordinarily difficult to win if traditional turnout and voting patterns held, particularly in a special election.
As Republicans enjoy noting, the GOP has held this district for 37 years, from Representatives Newt Gingrich to Johnny Isakson and Tom Price. Democratic candidates have historically underperformed in GA-06’s low-turnout elections, with an average of only 23% of votes cast for Democrats during the last three Congressional primaries.
But the national environment since President Trump’s election has been anything but typical, and the DCCC invested quickly to harness the local grassroots energy and help make this race as competitive as possible.
This started with the DCCC’s early investment in an eight-person field team in the beginning of March, with the goal of fundamentally changing the electorate, building the Democratic base by harnessing the grassroots energy, and turning out more Democrats than traditionally vote in this district. That DCCC field team has done the following:
- Built, trained, and now leads Ossoff’s entire paid field operation, which has reached a historic size of 70+ paid field staffers. In fact, one of the original DCCC hires is now the Ossoff campaign’s Field Director.
- Volunteer activation: Through partnerships with local activists, the field team has built a base with over 2,000 volunteers. These volunteers have been well-trained to deliver effective messages at the doors and on the phones to persuade undecided voters and turn out Democrats for the primary.
- Heavy vote by mail expansion: Vote By Mail started on March 4th, and the field team has focused on getting Democrats to vote early by mail, through mail applications and door-to-door canvassing. Total early returns show that Democratic voters are returning ballots at a rate of 2:1 compared Republican voters.
- Early Vote Chase: Through phone calls, door knocks, rallies, college campus outreach, and rides to the polls, the field team has effectively chased the early vote, pushing Democratic voters to go into an Early Vote location and cast their ballot before Election Day. Again, Democrats are outpacing Republicans with early in-person voting.
**NEWS** Consistent with the DCCC’s months-long strategy focused on expanding and turning out the Democratic base in GA-06, the Committee is announcing a GOTV surge of investments in the final week of the primary.This includes:
- African-American Radio & Digital: Starting tomorrow, the DCCC is launching a six-figure radio ad buy on seven Atlanta-based radio stations, aimed at turning out African-American voters early and on Election Day. This investment will also include digital ads on those stations’ websites, and ads on mobile streaming for these stations. In addition, the DCCC is spending five-figures for Pandora GOTV ads. Over the last four primaries, African Americans accounted for an average of 6.9% of the vote share, compared to 10.6% of the last three general elections, and this investment aims to boost that figure.
- GOTV Mail: The DCCC is making a 6-figure investment in mail that targets every registered Democrat in the District, urging them to vote early or on Election Day. The mail is hitting doors now, and will provide tailored messages to voters based on their frequency of participation.
- Neighbor-to-Neighbor Precinct Program: The DCCC and Ossoff field team have deployed a precinct-level GOTV Program – an extremely personalized and effective method of organizing that is only possible with the outpouring of grassroots support and volunteers that have been cultivated in this district. There are 210 precincts in the Sixth District, and each has a “precinct captain” responsible for the 300 to 400 voters in their precinct. The captains conduct all normal field functions—recruiting volunteers, persuading voters, get out the vote—but on a much more personal, localized level.
Meanwhile, the Jon Ossoff campaign has been fundraising at a breakneck speed, and just announced an $8.3 million total Q1 raised since January. The campaign has been effectively carrying the the persuasion message on television and on the ground. Because they have had the resources to communicate in this way, the DCCC’s investments have focused on expanding the voting universe and increasing Democratic turnout far beyond what this district has seen in past primary elections.