A Republican leader in the Iowa House says the GOP will likely employ some of the voter turn-out techniques the Obama campaign used to secure victory in Iowa last year. Representative Chris Hagenow of Windsor Heights — the Republican Whip in the House — says Iowa Republican candidates for the legislature will be “trying some new things” for the 2014 election.
“You’ll see us looking at some new technology, some new strategies,” Hagenow says. “Obviously these things are still expensive and it’s predicated on a lot of mail and TV, like it always is and I won’t share any more than that because I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.”
Hagenow cites the Obama campaign’s “massive data effort” which targeted people who would be likely Obama voters.
“Maybe we don’t replicate that whole effort, but how can we get better at targeting voters and making sure that when we get down to the nitty-gritty of October that our candidates are talking to who they need to talk to, finding new voters, getting them out, getting them to vote early,” Hagenow says. “all those kinds of things.”
Hagenow won his own 2012 race by just 22 votes — the closest margin of victory in a legislative race. He points to the 2013 legislature’s passage of commercial property tax relief and education reform as accomplishments Republican legislators can sell to voters in 2014.
“One thing that I had heard during my last campaign was: ‘We want you guys to do something…We want you to hold true to your principles, but get something done,'” Hagenow says. “And so we took that up there and we did that in spades.”
Hagenow made his comments Tuesday at the Des Moines Conservative Breakfast Club.
Legislative leaders in Iowa often raise money independently of their political party and, therefore, get to deploy it as they see fit. Obama’s campaign employed a team of technicians who searched a wide array of databases to search for potential voters — an expensive operation legislative candidates aren’t likely to replicate. A massive voter identification effort could be bankrolled by a well-financed statewide candidate for govenror or the U.S. Senate in 2014 who might share the data with down-ballot candidates.