Daily Video

October 1, 2008

Campaigns Get Out The Vote in Florida

In the second in a series of reports about the battleground states, Judy Woodruff, reports on how the campaigns are working to get out the votes for their party in Florida.

Both campaigns are using micro-targeting to pin point voters that are likely to turn out for their candidate. While Hispanic voters are the largest block of new voters the campaigns say all blocks are up for grabs as they target older folks, young people, Jewish voters, and African-Americans.

The Obama campaign reports to have set up offices around the state with over 300 paid staffers to register and turn out the vote but the McCain campaign is dubious. Republicans were out registered in 2000 and 2004 in Florida but still managed to win the state’s 27 Electoral College votes. It is shaping up to be another exciting November in Florida.


“We’re to the point in Florida where every single block of voters can say, ‘If you don’t win us over, you’re not going to win the state.’ And that’s what makes it so important to do micro-targeting in Florida.”- Susan Macmanus

“The Democrats are registering anybody with a heartbeat, whether they intend to vote or whether they don’t….The other issue to remember is we’ve been out-registered in 2000 and 2004, but on Election Day, on Election Day, more Republicans went to the polls.”- Jim Greer, Chair, Republican Party of Florida

“One way or another, I think these young people are going to turn out, particularly freshmen who are voting for the first time, and that’s who’s living on college campuses who are registering.” Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami

Warm Up Questions

1. What is a “battleground” state in the presidential election?

2. Name states that have historically been important in presidential elections.

3. What happened in Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election?

Discussion Questions

1. Why do you think campaigns target specific kinds groups? Do you think you can tell how someone will vote based on their age, gender, ethnicity? Why or why not?

2. What group would you be in? Do you think you would vote the same as “your” group? Why or why not?

3. Is your state considered a battleground state? Does it bother you that a handful of states can make the difference between who wins the election? Why or why not?

4. Why are battleground states so important? Why do some states get much less attention from the candidates during their campaigns? Do you think this is fair?

5. Imagine you are running for President, what groups would you target? How would you target their votes? Why?

Additional Resources

Transcript of this report

Florida the Economy and the Election

The Ground Game

In-depth Coverage: Vote 2008

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