Policy in the Margins: Why Grassroots Politics Works
It is proven that grassroots politics works.
In any given election, politicians live and die by the efforts of the activists.
Here is why:
Percent for Victory
|100%, all people||50%, plus 1|
|70% eligible to vote (excludes aliens, felons, and minors)||35%, plus 1|
|40% registered to vote (approximately 60% of eligible)||20%, plus 1|
|20% vote on election day (50% of registered voters)||10%, plus 1|
|7% almost always vote Republican|
|7% almost always vote Democrat|
|6% swing votes||3%, plus1|
It all comes down to three percent of the population plus one voter. This is why it really does depend on YOU.
In some local and state elections, where turnout may only be 20% of registered voters, the margin is far less than three percent plus one.
The average politician lives in constant fear of alienating any substantial portion of this key group, particularly in a hotly-contested race for re-election or to gain a higher office.
What is the best way not to alienate these voters?
Do nothing to make them mad, which almost always means - DO NOTHING.
This is why even when new politicians are elected, little seems to change. Inertia - or the status quo - is the most potent force in politics.
However, by mobilizing and directing voters rallying around a specific issue, you can change the political environment for a politician or even a group of politicians. One relatively small group can make it more costly for the politician not to act than it is for him or her to act as you want him to.
This is precisely what I mean when I say policy is made at the margins. Political success, or failure, is determined over time by the number and effectiveness of the activists.
This is also why the homosexual lobby, labor unions, and organized groups so often get legislation they want. They have groups of voters who can, and will, vote on their issue alone.
And they often have workers and sometimes money to use against any politician who crosses them.
By becoming a grassroots leader you can too.
That's where the fun, and the danger, begin.