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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cruz Mailer Backfires

Green and Gerber experimented with "social pressure" mailers to increase turnout. David Weigel reports at The Washington Post:
In his best-selling book "The Victory Lab," reporter Sasha Issenberg pointed to the "social pressure" experiment as a daring, clever way to bring out a political base. In 2012, MoveOn used pressure-style mailers to turn out progressive votes for President Obama.

Yet today, a similar letter from Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Tex.) to Iowa Republicans is becoming a mini-scandal. On Saturday morning, Republican strategist and writer Sarah Rumpf found a tweet (now deleted) from Iowa voter Tom Hinkelday, displaying a Cruz mailer meant to look like a "VOTER VIOLATION."
"CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE," read the mailer, patterned after a report card, "and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses."
Cruz's campaign quickly confirmed the origins of the mailer, even as Cruz endorser and radio host Steve Deace pronounced it fake. And Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican, condemned it.
"Accusing citizens of Iowa of a 'voting violation' based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act," he said in a statement. "There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses."
Sarah Rumpf reports at The Washington Examiner:
Tom Hinkeldey, a resident of Alta, Iowa, tweeted a photo (which was later deleted because it included his personal address) on Friday evening of a mailer Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign sent addressed to his wife, Steffany. The mailer was a large card printed to look like a manila envelope on one side and was labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.”
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