A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 13, 2015
Go On TV (GOTV nickname)

“GOTV” is a political abbreviation for “get out the vote.” “GOTV” has been cited in print from at least 1981.

“GOTV” has been given the backronym (back acronym) of “Go On TV” since at least 2003. It was observed in 2015:

“There’s an old joke among campaign professionals about those who believe GOTV stands for ‘get out the vote’ and those who think it stands for ‘go on TV.’”


Wikipedia: Get out the vote
“Get out the vote” (or “getting out the vote”; GOTV) are terms used to describe two categories of political activity, both aimed at increasing the number of votes cast in one or more elections. In countries that do not enforce mandatory voting, voter turnout can be low, sometimes even below a third of the eligible voter pool. Campaigns typically attempt to register voters, then get them to vote, either by absentee ballot, early voting or election day voting. The value of GOTV is unclear, but a well-organized effort probably gains a candidate on the order of half a percentage point.

Slate
JUNE 30 2003 6:57 PM
The Buzzwords of John Kerry
How he spins the issues.

By William Saletan
(...)
GOTV
Example: “GOTV doesn’t stand for ‘go on TV’ “ (standard stump speech).
What it means: Get out the vote.
What it hides: I became the Democratic presidential front-runner by leaping at every opportunity to go on TV.
Subtext: I’m from Massachusetts. Go find me some Iowans.

Google Books
Herding Donkeys:
The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics

By Ari Berman
New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2010
Pg. 38:
Hicks thought it was hilarious that when Bird joined the campaign, he thought GOTV—“get out the vote,” the most common of political acronyms—stood for “go on TV.”

Twitter
Miles Halpine
‏@MilesHalpine
Fun fact: when @jeremybird joined the Dean campaign in 2003, he thought GOTV stood for “go on TV.” #HerdingDonkeys
5:09 PM - 3 Jun 2014

Twitter
The Notorious GOPe
‏@brodigan
Out of Context QOTD: “GOTV means ‘Go On TV.’”
10:02 AM - 21 Oct 2014

MSNBC
Rubio faces pressure over nontraditional schedule
12/14/15 09:20 AM—UPDATED 12/14/15 10:22 AM
By Steve Benen
(...)
There’s an old joke among campaign professionals about those who believe GOTV stands for “get out the vote” and those who think it stands for “go on TV.” Team Rubio isn’t kidding when it endorses the latter – holding fewer events, hiring fewer staffers, and opening fewer field offices, all while blanketing the airwaves.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, December 13, 2015 • Permalink