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The Voice of San Diego Podcast

VOSD’s Friday roundup of the past week’s news in brief, featuring interviews with special guests and more.

Feb 15, 2014

VOSD Radio co-hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts brought on two special guests for this week's podcast to air some politically engaged grievances.

Ryan Clumpner, chief of staff for Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, and Lucas O'Connor, former director of strategic communications for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, both have said the media doesn't know anything about how campaigns work.

In light of Tuesday's election results, we decided to get it out in the open and find out what exactly the city's media outlets are doing wrong. Below are a few takeaways from Clumpner and O'Connor's appearance.

Endorsements from within the party are actually relevant.

O'Connor: "It's easy to dismiss those as just, that's what Democrats do, but especially in an election like this, where it's a special election, it's low-turnout in general, Democrats in the city already have a problem getting their base to turn out ... Bringing in those people is a way to activate a base that might be exhausted from all those special elections, but also might generally be people that aren't engaged at the local level, but are interested in state politics or national politics. So if you get a (San Antonio Mayor) Julian Castro in town, they might pay attention to that in a way that they wouldn't pay attention to another event for (San Diego mayoral candidate) David Alvarez."

'Getting out the vote' doesn't mean what you think it means.

Clumpner: "Getting out the vote is primarily a logistical function. ... All campaigns you've seen in  the last few years in particular end up doing these events that are sign-waving. That's primarily just for the purpose of the media, because the media says, 'We want to show you getting out the vote.' You need an actual visual there. What they're actually doing to get out the vote isn't really very sexy to display. There isn't a lot there to see. It's a very nuts-and-bolts kind of activity... Waving signs has no impact on voter turnout. What does have an impact on voter turnout is what kind of face you're putting forward on TV."

Unions might not have as much sway in local elections.

Clumpner: "I think that one of the lessons for this race is that the type of hardline labor campaign does not have as much appeal with San Diego voters as a lot of folks may think that it does ... If you look at why certain people turned out in higher numbers or lower numbers, you have to get down to whether they felt inspired or motivated or thought it was necessary to turn out."