Monday, August 27, 2012

Warning: Obama Campaign Spending on Ground Game Could Overwhelm GOP Enthusiasm

Romney/Ryan need to focus on turnout with grass roots organization to match Obama's!

In an election that could go either way one thing matters above all others. You have to get your voters to the polls. On the GOP side there is enormous enthusiasm to vote. But even in the 2010 midterm election when that enthusiasm was also very high GOP candidates underperformed polling numbers by a significant margin in several key states. We are used to polls underreporting GOP strength so when the opposite happens and we lose key races that most polls predicted we would win we have to ask why. Shortly after the 2010 election I posted a warning that unless we repaired deficiencies in the ground game that worked to turn out GOP voters we could face more serious disappointments in 2012.

The problem for the GOP in key states is that the Democrats operate in these states with a full time paid professional staff. Most of this is in the form of Big Labor union and progressive causes which fund ongoing operations. The Obama campaign, as it did in 2008 builds on that skeleton and pours paid staff into these states. These are the folks who supervise the phone banks and other grass roots efforts. They've been quietly working in a number of key states for months now.

The Washington Post has this story highlighting how the Obama Campaign is replicating the successful ground game strategy they followed in 2008. Check out the map which shows compares Dem ground game spending in key states with the GOP:

w-GroundGame24
Full size image here.

In desperate appeals to his campaign donors Obama repeatedly complains that he may be outspent by Romney. Hogwash. The Washington Post has the facts. Obama has raised $300 million more than Romney and spent almost twice as much. Even with Romney favorable PAC spending, there is little chance Romney can catch up. It's a useful reminder to cite that three of the top five independent spenders in the 2010 election were pro-Dem unions. They outspent GOP PACs. They can be expected to shell out again this time as well.

Romney spent much of his money during the bitter primary fight. He won't be able to spend general election contributions until after the convention. That leaves him playing catchup with Obama whose staff in key states has had plenty of time to troll the graveyards and identify potential Obama voters.

The bottom line: enthusiasm is not enough to win an election. In key states GOP voters must be registered and plugged in to make sure they vote. That takes boots on the ground. Time is wasting!

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