By Bob Gatty
HCDP Chair Don Kohn believes that “tens of thousands” of new voters must be identified and motivated and that qualified candidates must be found to compete for every available public office if Democrats are to succeed in future elections in Horry County.
In a post-election analysis presented to the Carolina Forest Democratic Club Nov. 10, Kohn noted that Democrats continued to make gains in the November 3 election, but those gains were not enough to elect our candidates, even though Democrats increased their vote count by about 19,000 votes compared to the 2016 presidential election.
While Republicans also increased, an analysis showed that 4 percent more people voted Democratic this year than in 2016, meaning that the deep red of the Horry County map is now not quite so red. Other indicators, including a massive increase in social media and website activity, are all encouraging signs, Kohn said.
“So there was some good news in an otherwise bleak evening of results,” Kohn added.
“When it comes to what we have to do, the objectives are very, very simple,” said Kohn. “We need more voters. There are only two ways I know of getting more voters: you have to register more voters…and we need to do it in the thousands, in the tens of thousands.”
“The other thing we must do is to get out the vote. We saw a lot more people come out to vote that hadn’t in the past, but there are a lot more people who are sitting on the couch on election day. We need to identify those people and then come up with a plan.”
While HCDP made “major strides” in communications, more needs to be done to expand the Party’s reach to those not currently being reached. “I don’t think we reach any of the minority populations, particularly in the rural areas,” he said.
However, Kohn stressed, “It’s one thing to tell people that they should go out and vote, but when they see so many empty offices on the Democratic side, some people just say, ‘well, what am I coming out for?’ There’s always something to vote for and someone to vote for, but we’ve got to do a better job of recruiting candidates.”
Words of Thanks
Kohn expressed his appreciation to all those who assisted with the campaign, specifically citing our clubs, those who participated in massive telephone and texting GOTV initiative, the Communications Committee, which developed and launched a marketing and advertising campaign and provided educational material on issues and on voting; the voter protection team, which served as HCDP’s eyes and ears at the polls; those who helped raise record funds despite the pandemic, which shut down HCDP’s two major fundraisers; those who worked with a record number of volunteers.
The overall campaign effort was massive in its totality, and Kohn stressed his appreciation to all those who helped – volunteers all.
On the fundraising front, Kohn expressed appreciation to all who stepped up to help, noting that HCDP more than made up for the cancelled in-person events. Helping with this cause were these clubs and groups: the Carolina Forest Democratic Club, South Enders Democratic Club, Westside Democratic Club, and the Gun Sense Committee.
For Kohn’s complete remarks, please view the video.