Who’s got better (ground) game?
It’s been well publicized that Mitt Romney has far greater financial resources in this election compared to President Obama. He has more billionaires willing to dump tens of millions of dollars into various Super-PACs that will (without ‘coordinating’ with his campaign) attack President Obama without pause between now and election day. Most of his direct campaign donations come from wealthy people who don’t blink at dropping $2300 into his coffers, and he has a quarter billion dollars in net worth of his own he can borrow against to off-set any gains President Obama makes with grass-roots donations of $50 on average. (Though it should be noted Mitt Romney has spent only 100K of his own money this election cycle, which shows he knows how to avoid bad investments.) But what about the ground game? Elections may be national, but they’re won state by state on the local level.
Maddow blog has a good article on the difference in field offices in battleground states between Romney and Obama this cycle(she links to this article by Seth Masket which is also the source of the image below). A simple graphic illustrates the differences between the two campaigns using this metric alone:
And according to the Washington Post, some Republicans are starting to take notice:
Some Republicans are starting to fret a little bit about their ground game and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that fear is at least somewhat justified.
According to the poll, 20 percent of registered voters say they have been contacted by the Obama campaign, compared to 13 percent who say they have been contacted by Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Ignore the anti union dog whistle from Haley Barbour for a moment, and you can see that even he recognizes that the GOP has become complacent (Mitt Romney’s campaign laziness rubbing off?) in recent years. I chalk much of this up to their reliance on Fox News and the general apathy of the media as a whole to hold politicians accountable for the lies they spew.
‘That’s something we need to be very, very, very cognizant of,’ Barbour said. ‘We used to have an advantage on ground game — get out the vote, 72-hour program, all that. They now have an advantage. We have to do what it takes to overcome the union muscle and money that goes in the streets.’
Add to this the fact that Mitt Romney basically took a three day weekend after his convention (not that there was much of a bounce for him to solidify with a post convention campaign blitz).
So, what will this mean? In an election where there are maybe 7% undecided voters left to fight for, reaching 270 is going to come down to a handful of states, and the options there aren’t great for Romney, as this excellent diary by Daily Kos diarist VTGenie illustrates.
In other words, game on.
(cross posted in orange)