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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

It’s runoff day here in Georgia, and we’re ensconced in Jim Martin’s boiler room. Polls close in two hours, and we’ll find out shortly who has more mojo bragging rights, Sarah Palin or Ludacris. The weather is great and the ballot is short, with only this race and a Public Service Commission race.

Yesterday we learned that the Martin contact rate during GOTV has been impressively high, with up to 1,000 contacts for 1,500 attempts. According to that source, who knows numbers from working through previous Georgia Democratic voter files, this is just a stunning improvement. What those numbers imply is that the influx of organization will allow for the efficient channeling of volunteer dials and knocks. Where labor fills in, the campaign knows who and where the voters are. Unlike the Obama emphasis on early voting, the Martin campaign did not do a gigantic absentee push, instead opting for a big December 2 turnout.

As of last night, according to Martin spokesman Matt Canter, 2,500 volunteers had signed up for the online neighbor-to-neighbor phonebanking tool. Word is that this number has been smashed, beginning early this morning. In addition to and separate from the online phonebanking volunteers (from anywhere), 3,200 on-ground volunteers have deployed around the state for Runoff Day knocking and calling.

Among other tasks, right now, the boiler room is fielding reports about what percent of turf has been canvassed in various areas. The field teams pipeline up their data — such and such number of calls, such and such percent of walk packets have been walked — and the field team makes decisions about whether and where to reallocate canvassers.

The voter protection group is busy in another wing of the boiler room location, and the word is things have gone fairly smoothly today. Reports this morning about the Secretary of State’s website being briefly down (polling locations are on the site) were handled, and the website has been up and running since the reports.

The candidate himself has been busy with radio and TV appearances today, and we caught up to him briefly at the IBEW union hall just south of downtown Atlanta this afternoon, where at least 100 workers were busy doing Runoff Day GOTV.

We’ll have an update in a bit and as things happen. We’re being somewhat careful about what we report, as boiler room is delicate and unusual access and we’re handling it accordingly. (They made sure to say that if you’re in Georgia and reading this now and haven’t voted, go vote and come back and read later.)

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