Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Focusing efforts wisely

October 27th, 2010, 9:52am by Sam Wang


I’ve received correspondence from a Democratic activist taking me to task. I pointed out that his Democratic Congressman was likely to win by a large margin. He thought that my saying this would breed complacency. Putting aside the idea that very many Democrats this election season are complacent, there is a critical point I must make.

Efficient resource allocation is directed at the idea that you want the maximum benefit for a fixed amount of resources. In this case, if you have 50 hours (or $50) to spend, where should it go? As longtime readers of this site know, this is the point of the jerseyvotes calculation. Based on this reasoning, in the case of Princeton’s local Congressional district (NJ-12), perhaps the most effective GOTV action is to go to Pennsylvania for the Senate race. Sestak (D) and Toomey (R) are neck-and-neck.

The choice is not between voting and not voting. The point is that you’re probably reading this site because you care about politics, and want to maximize the return for your time or money spent. This is especially important if you are worried, since too much emotion can cloud judgment.

If you’re a Democrat, give at ActBlue. Republicans are welcome to leave suggestions for donation targets in comments.

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