Many Colorado Conservatives have seen the Ground Game presentations—you know, the ones laying out how Democrats used well-funded ground games with multi-targeting and several-step touching of new voters in Colorado. These all have something great and something bad:
The “great” is how they recommend needed shifts in our ground game strategy, moving monies from less effective measures to more aggressively connecting with voters. I agree with these. Strongly.
The “bad” is how they completely neglect the context that made such measures succeed for Colorado Democrats. Basically, these Ground Game preachers say, “If we just do what Democrats did, the market will embrace us as it did them.” That, my friends, is preposterous—and dangerously naïve.
In truth, the Colorado market was wholly primed to accept the Democrat message. Flooded with massive population shifts, our state exploded over the past couple decades with new voters—young, minority, or transplants from liberal states—ready to embrace leftist dogma. Never have fields been more ripe for Democrat harvest.
So when well-funded Democrat groups approached these hordes with aggressive voter registration and targeted sales pitches at doorways, they were selling to a market primed to embrace them. Seeing perfect expansion territory in Colorado, Democrats seized it.
Here’s what they saw: All the expanding voter demographics in Colorado had one thing in common--they were bathed in leftist dogma 24/7. Think about it. Young voters, single women voters, suburban women voters, minority voters—all these were preached one-sided messages from the moment they woke up to the moment their heads hit the pillow.
They heard it through the Big 3: Academia, Media (especially sports media, by the way), and all forms of Entertainment. Just look at each targeted demographic, then go to their schools, watch their preferred media (TV or online), and watch all their preferred forms of entertainment. Morning, noon, and night, these demographics are bombarded with hard-left messaging, preparing these “fields” for harvesting by Democrats.
All the Dems had to do was spend big money and equip their troops. The fields were ripe. They just needed to send out harvesters.
And here’s another thing Democrat leaders knew: Their Party recruits and rallies with RAGE. This is why they used The Big 3 for convincing targeted voting groups to be angry at other groups. They pushed anger at the wealthy. They pushed anger at heterosexual men. Anger at the military. Anger at lawful gun owners. White people. Christians. Oil companies. Whoever.
It didn’t matter which groups Democrats cast as villains—they just needed villains. Why? Because no one votes Democrat unless they’re voting against some chosen villain (rich people, Christians, oil companies, men, etc.). DEMOCRATS NEED PEOPLE CONVINCED THAT GOVERNMENT MUST PROTECT THEM FROM PERCEIVED THREATS. This is why Democrats demonize whole groups. They need voters angry and scared, and that is precisely what the Big 3 produced.
Moreover, Colorado saw a population boom in all the most targeted demographics for this strategy. And not only were the fields ripe for Democrat harvest, but they were tilled, seeded, watered, weeded, and in every way prepared for that harvest by the Big 3. So when Democrats registered new voters or passed out invitations at campuses, they were harvesting trees bursting with fruit falling from branches. When they approached suburban women or minority communities, they were picking from rows of corn ready to be plucked by leftwing harvesters.
Despite all this, “Ground Game” preachers now tell rightwing groups all we need to do is harvest the way Democrats do, and we’ll have the same results! Worse yet, these “Ground Game” preachers are blaming their way to power in the Colorado Republican Party. How? Simple: They detail all the effective ground game operations of Democrat groups, without mentioning the population shifts and Big 3 rage preparations making those ground games effective.
They talk all harvest, and no preparing of the fields for harvest.
“We didn’t lose because of demographic shifts or messaging or Trump or anything else!” they insist. “We lost because we got outworked! We lost solely because Democrats used the better ground game! If we just harvest like they do—aggressively connecting with new voters and targeting each voter’s data points—we’ll get the same results! And our leaders are to blame for not doing this!”
Ridiculous. Embarrassing. While I heartily agree with their ground game strategies, their utter neglect of context will bring terrible results.
Folks, if we want to win back Colorado, we must prepare the field before harvesting it. We must completely change our message and approach to one resonating with today’s voters. We must break through the Big 3’s dominance, using clear, impactful messaging that shows voters we’re the good guys and Democrats are the bad guys—and we must do it while lowering the very rage Democrats use to recruit.
Can this be done? You bet! But it won’t happen with enraged “Ground Game” preachers blaming their way to power with promises of harvesting fields we’ve never prepared. We need to change the way Coloradoans see Conservatives and Republicans, and we can’t do this with rage and division in our own ranks. Those things only feed the other side.
One more time: WE MUST PREPARE THE FIELD BEFORE HARVESTING IT. And while I think the “Ground Game” preachers have some great ideas on how to harvest, they offer nothing to prepare that harvest. Nothing but blame. Nothing but rage. Nothing opening the mind of that young person or minority voter or single woman or suburban female executive. Nothing at all.
Just numbers and stats, with no context and lots of anger.
Truth is, these Ground Game preachers aren’t changing the face of our Party. They’re just shoving it in more faces of voters we haven’t prepared. Folks, the greatest irony of Ground Game Fever…
…is that it never prepares the ground.