A September article regarding a memo it obtained from Tom Steyer’s Next Gen PAC, Politico covered the section of the document claiming attacks against the Koch brothers would be effective for helping Democrats win the midterm elections. However, the website omitted the section about his goal to suppress Republican votes in 2014 just as he did during the recent Virginia gubernatorial elections. An attempt to suppress the GOP vote is an important political story, especially because voter suppression is a common claim made by Democratic Party candidates.
In the section Politico ignored, Next Gen discussed research it conducted to learn how to dampen “Republican enthusiasm levels.” In other words, how to suppress Republican turnout. Next Gen goes on to report their tactics worked in the 2013 Virginia governor’s race and they plan to implement it for the 2014 midterms in FL, IA, and MI.
We also used our opinion research to determine whether there was effective messaging to degrade Republican enthusiasm. The election results in many states may be as narrow as a few thousand votes, so we sought to determine whether we could have an impact at the margins of the race by dampening Republican enthusiasm levels.
During the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Republican turnout in the Tri-County area was impacted as the result of revelations about the Republican nominee’s support for an out-of-state energy company over local landowners — while the Republican vote over-performed throughout Virginia in 2013, the notable exception was the Tri-Counties, which underperformed by approximately 11,000 votes.
Our opinion research has identified issues potentially relevant to Republican voter enthusiasm that have a common denominator — the Republican candidates side with their corporate donors against the tangible interests of Republican voters.
If a Republican memo explaining how to suppress Democratic Party turnout was found it would likely be a major story on Politico and no doubt picked up by the mainstream news media. The fact this liberal effort was was ignored even though Politico had the evidence in-house reeks of media bias.
Note: The full section of the memo referring to voter suppression is embedded below. Each bullet-point reveals Steyer’s market-specific strategy for voter suppression (believe it or not they called them haircuts, why do rich progressives hate bald people?).