THUNDER BAY – Analysis – The Ontario election will likely be decided by the ground game leading up to and including election day. The GOTV – Get out the Vote efforts of each campaign in each riding is likely to be a critical determining factor.
GOTV is the effort that the campaign puts toward ensuring that their identified support makes it out to the polls and votes. Ideal campaign strategy for a winning campaign would be having the entire riding or ward door-knocked at least twice, with voter identification being key.
Once supporters are identified, then the goal is ensuring that those supporters actually vote.
In a perfect campaign, the first step would be identifying three things, first the identified supporters, then the identified opponents, and next the undecided voters.
For door-knocking or telephone campaigns, often the campaign will be decided by the undecided voters. There should be a great deal of effort attempting to swing those voters.
Reading the polls during Campaign 2014, pollsters are stating that the Progressive Conservative voters are the most determined. That degree of determination needs in many cases to be co-ordinated with a solid GOTV campaign.
For a campaign, ensuring that the supporters get to the polls is key. Across Thunder Bay the New Democrats have had concentrated efforts ongoing to get as many of their supporters out early to the advance polls.
The other campaigns are quieter on their GOTV efforts.
When you look at the science behind running a successful political campaign it is not just having a good message, it is in developing a solid ground game, tracking the voter preferences in the riding or ward, making sure that people who are supporting a political party, campaign or person are actually getting out to vote.
With voter turnouts falling in recent elections, small numbers of voters can impact a result greatly.
The Ontario 2014 Election will likely be won on the ground. After all, the only poll that really matters is the one on election day.