Why did the RNC dump millions into a deceptive and likely illegal program to harrass voters until they unplugged their phones, called the police and practically went crazy trying to make the calls stop? Simple. It works.
In at least seven of those districts, the Democrat failed to unseat the incumbent by only a couple thousand votes. The NRCC’s calls may have been the difference in those races.
Consider, for example, Florida’s 13th District, where Christine Jennings is currently locked in a recount battle. The final tally shows her down 386 votes. In the last three weeks of the election, the NRCC spent $58,326.78 on robo calls against Jennings, according to FEC reports. At five to fifteen cents a call, the NRCC bought itself between 388,000 and 1.17 million calls in the district. Approximately 250,000 people voted in the 13th on Tuesday.
Voters there report being inundated with calls — so much so that some decided not to vote for Jennings. From The Herald Tribune:
“We’re just glad it’s all over,” said Betty Beatty…
“They bugged us with their phone calls something terrible,” said Betty, who voted for Buchanan because “with all her calls, Jennings, Jennings, Jennings, I wouldn’t have voted for that woman if she were the only one running.”
There are thousands of voters like Betty Beatty in every targeted district. The Republican incumbent held many of these races by tiny margins. This isn’t hard math. Unless somebody goes to prison for breaking campaign laws and relentlessly harrassing Americans this revolting, effective trick will become an oft-used page in the GOP campaign playbook.