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A daunting Obama ground game awaits Romney
As he moves unceasingly toward the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney has cast himself as the only GOP candidate with an organization hefty enough to take on President Obama's campaign juggernaut.
"The other guys are nice folks, but they haven't organized a campaign with a staff, the organization, the fundraising capacity to actually beat Barack Obama," Romney said this month on Fox News. "I have."
But an examination of how the two campaigns have spent their money in the last year starkly illustrates the huge advantage Obama will have in mounting a ground operation to identify voters and get them to the polls in November.
Spared a primary opponent, the president's reelection campaign by the end of February had pumped nearly $79 million into laying the groundwork for the general election, deploying staff to far-flung corners of the country such as Laramie, Wyo., and Lebanon, N.H., as part of an ambitious, tech-savvy field effort.
Romney, mired for months in a contentious primary, has not yet devoted substantial resources to a national field program. Of the $68 million spent so far by his campaign, $25.4 million went to fundraising and media ads in primary states, elements that — while key to his front-runner standing — may not translate into lasting gains.
He has spent only $5 million on staff, compared with the $20 million Obama has doled out for his campaign workers. For its reach, Romney's campaign plans to lean on the Republican Party, which has yet to set up shop in states long inhabited by Obama operatives.
The spending data and interviews with campaign officials suggest that a Romney-Obama race would be a clash between distinct political philosophies, one that would test the power of an aerial bombardment through television ads against an in-person voter mobilization months in the making.
Both campaigns will employ commercials and ground organizers to make their cases, of course. But media use is the specialty of top Romney campaign officials Matt Rhoades, Eric Fehrnstrom, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, who have backgrounds in communications and ad production. And Romney is poised to benefit from intense air cover provided by Restore Our Future, a "super PAC" that has already spent $37 million, largely on TV ads attacking his GOP rivals.
Romney campaign strategists acknowledge they have a small field operation, by design. Instead of hiring get-out-the-vote organizers around the country, a lean team has leapfrogged in and out of the various primary states. That has kept costs down, but it also means Romney has a smaller national footprint than Obama.
Campaign political director Rich Beeson said he had kept some staff in states that would be key for the general election. But he said the bulk of the voter registration and mobilization program for the fall would be handled by the Republican National Committee.
"It has the infrastructure in place," he said. "We're taking care of business in the primary, setting up infrastructure in states that make sense in a general. But at the end of the day, I'm not losing sleep over having a general election field operation. I know that's being taken care of."
That's a very different philosophy from that of Obama and his top political aides, David Plouffe and David Axelrod. In 2008, Obama's operation wrested the Democratic nomination on the strength of an unprecedented field operation that — in tandem with massive fundraising — lifted the former community organizer over the establishment candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The campaign appears poised to be even more aggressive this year. Volunteers are registering new voters in an effort to expand the pool of supporters. They are knocking on doors to identify likely voters — an activity that usually occurs in the summer or fall. And the reelection effort has begun blanketing battleground states with field offices, including 18 in Florida, 13 in Pennsylvania and eight in Iowa. In the process, Obama's apparatus has locked up local Democratic operatives across the country much earlier than expected.
- So daunting they gave away Congress in 2010 without even the slightest effort.
- That was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Obama wasn't on the ballot that year.
- I hope Obama's efforts smash/demolish/destroy Romney's Presidential bid.
- Actually it was Rahm Emmanuel, the DINO who was in charge of the Congressional elections that year.
- [quote]So daunting they gave away Congress in 2010 without even the slightest effort.
Actually, the President wasn't running for Congress that year.
- Tiresome and dishonest quibbling R5. The point is that Obama didn't try and he won't try again this year. He will give it away if he can, as he already proved with his comment to Medvedev. The lazy dimwitted fake fool is starting to prepare the nation for President Romney.
- [quote]The point is that Obama didn't try and he won't try again this year. He will give it away if he can, as he already proved with his comment to Medvedev. The lazy dimwitted fake fool is starting to prepare the nation for President Romney.
You're a dolt.
- Am I? Have you actually followed what Mr. Obama does with his time? Do you know he has actually spoken to the American people LESS than the lazy and ridiculous George W. Bush?
- That's because Obama spends more time doing, and less time talking.
- That's clearly not the case R9. He vacations and junkets all the time. His legislative record: very meager. His administrative effort: well if there is any and he hasn't told us about it, then he should. But the whole part where you are supposed to lead the nation and explain things to the people? He's the worst president since Calvin Coolidge.
- Who would you like to be President, R10?
- And when he does speak to the people he exaggerates the recovery. Bush did this too, but Obama doesn't seem to understand that the 2008 meltdown made people trust their own instincts over the government's numbers. Yeah, things are getting better, but they are in a shit state and he's gonna lose if he acts like he's done something magical, or even minimally competent, in this area because the whole public knows it isn't true.
- Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Paul Craig Roberts, there are lots of folks who would do a better job.
- Jennifer Grantholm if she hadn't been so stupid as to be born in Canada.
- Actually she's not as progressive as one would want.
Certainly Al Sharpton would be ideal.
- $5.00 per gallon gasoline.
Obama down for the count...
- "Certainly Al Sharpton would be ideal"
Oh my sides!
- He has options to bring gas prices down. I wish he would use them.
- Gas prices peak in June/July and drop by October.
They're not an issue.
A resolution to Iran will be announced, knocking them down.
Does anyone here *read* a newspaper?
- Karl Rove and his 50 state elections strategy have a pretty daunting ground game. And the money to pull it off. All they need to do is energize the base to vote against Obama who they will demonize, and elect the affable Romney/Reagan.
- [quote] the affable Romney
Yeah, R20, people LOVE Mitt Romney.
- When Obamacare goes down, the Right will crawl over broken glass to vote to make sure it doesn't rise up like a zombie.
Since nobody on the Left cared for the plan, they won't bother to show.
- Even Andrea Tantaros of Fox News said that Mitt Romney has problems energizing Republicans.
And this is AFTER all of the money he's spending in the GOP primary states.
- [quote]That was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Obama wasn't on the ballot that year.
It was a referendum on Obama, dope. He's the reason why all the Pugs went out and voted.
- [quote]That's because Obama spends more time doing, and less time talking.
This man has addressed the nation more times than Bush ever did. In fact, it was so many times he went out there to "talk" that people, that the "people" shut him off, and told him STFU.
He got branded as "all talk", and a President who couldn't speak without a teleprompter.
- [quote]Certainly Al Sharpton would be ideal.
That racist, POS buffoon.
He would get 1% of the vote.
Nobody wants him except Black Panthers.
- [quote]Karl Rove and his 50 state elections strategy have a pretty daunting ground game.
That was Howard Deans' 50 state strategy, you moron.
Rove was the one who said that the Right would win Congress in 2006. Rove is a failure, and DOA today. Nobody listens, nor wants him. He's part of the establishment, and nobody listens to him in even those quarters. He's been over for years.
- Have any of you reality-challenged GOPWTF-ers seen recent swing state polling? Hmmm? Or Mittens' favorable/unfavorable numbers? Especially among "independents" and "moderates"? Hmm?
Of course, a lot can happen between now and election day, but President Obama is in an enviable position at this point in the campaign.
PLUS - one of the candidates is a gaffe-prone, tone deaf, robot with the charisma of a wet noodle.
And one isn't.
- obama will get beat badly the 2016 obama movie is playing in over 1800 theatres around the country including battleground states and even playing in california. this movie shows the real version of obama and obama is hemmorging votes every day because of it. Hope and change has fallen off of a truck. people are not buying the rhetoric that is disguided only to advance big government and socialism. the democrats will loose the senate too. look at 2010 democrats got trounced. scott walker won by a larger margin in wisconsin than the first time. liberals are not winning to many elections thats a fact.
- It's even playing CALIFORNIA? Heaven forfend!
That movie could play on every television channel from here till election day, and Willard will still lose. He can't help himself
- Did gregory type that rant by slapping his fists onto the keyboard?
- Ignore it, please.
- [quote]the democrats will loose the senate too.
- Christ on cross! If R29 is the best these losers can come up with, we have nothing to fear.
- If only ever rightwinger were like R29. We like to think they're all idiots. R29 proves it.
- Why on earth would the troll at R29 bump up a thread from 6 months ago that points out the tremendous disadvantage Romney has in this election? And then do nothing to refute the original story? A problem with strategic thinking, clearly. Something that has plagued the Romney campaign from the beginning.
As of the beginning of September, Obama has a HUGE advantage in the number of field offices in key battleground swing states.
- I love re-reading threads like these...