Wednesday, November 01, 2006

it's 1:30am, do you know where to print 100,000 impressions?

right, so mid-morning the thursday before the election i got a phone call from the state director RM.
"Zach you got promoted. i need you downtown ASAP, you are going to staff the Data Director".

I didn't realize volunteers get promotions, but was happy to help.
i busted ass to get to the other office. We needed to figure out how to get all the lists, directions, and maps printed that volunteers would use to contact voters. All told it would be about 100,000 pages worth of printing. I inherited the task of figuring out how to get it done in 24 hours. On my way home circa 3 am i got a call from Paul, who was working on the porject with me. He had an idea of how to automate the map printing.
It was a great idea, the details of which I won't get into. I was up until 5am or so, and we worked out the kinks.
On the one hand, it was sorta like college; there was an immenent deadline, it was late at night, adrenaline was pumping, and there was much work to be done. Unlike college paper writing, a lot more was at stake. If this got screwed up, thousands of voters would not be contacted and of those, a sizeable percentage would not vote. I wasn't going to be getting any grades, but wow, if i didn't feel motivated. I finally went to bed.
When you are working on the operations side of a campaign, you leave your cell phone on all night in case there are flair ups. I got called at about 8:30, a few hours after i went to bed, there had been some changes. The kinkos people failed to get the files to their batch printing center electronically. They needed to send the CD i gave them via courier.
The print run was scheduled for 7AM, but now it couldn't possibly start before 10AM.
Once it started they could print 6,000 pages per hour per machine, so it was possible they'd have it to us on time. The kinkos lady said they could have it done by 10pm.
"10 pm! that's not acceptable" I need the first part of the order by 2pm."
I convinced her to do the printing in a few different stores. The batch center got us moving and had there piece printed by 2pm. I had it delivered and we had it by 3:30p. I had promised the GOTV director that i'd get it done 24 hours after receiving sole accountability for the printing assignment. I clocked it in with about 8 hours to spare. Man, it was crazy.
That was a single 24 hour period in my election week.

Statewide we were active in the gubernatorial race, the senate race, five republican held house seats, and a bunch of state leg races.

we won the senate seat and retained the governor's mansion by wide margins.

there is some variation in measuring how often inclumbent representatives in the US house are re-elected when they run for re-election. Generally the number is about 97% of the time.
I am going to treat these races as statisticallyindepenent of each other (reasonable as they happen simultaneously). I=the incumbancy advanatge=0.97

If we only ran against a single incumbent our chance of victory is: 1-I=0.03-->3%
If we ran against two incumbents the chance of beating both is: (1-I)^2=0.03^2=.0009=0.09%
The chances of beating four incumbents in four races is: (1-I)^4=0.03^4=.00000081=0.000081%

It would have been terrific if we had bumped off a single incumbent repugnican. It would have been shockingly amazing to beat two. It would have borderline anomolous to win three races. It was undescribindly exciting to win 4 republican held house seats statewide. Altmire, Carney, Patrick Murphy, and Sestak all emerged victorious. This two weeks was among the hardest work-wise of my life, but it was absolutely worth it to be able to return today to a newly blue capital.


At 11/12/2006 , Blogger Chorus of Apes said...

congrats on all the hard work. The nation thanks you.


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