fieldoffices.png

Amid All the Good News, One Ominous Note, Or, Calling Rick Wilson

Since feeling confident almost two weeks before Election Day seems so odd to me–after all, I’m a lifelong Republican–I’ve been searching for a good reason to temper my mood. As it happens, such a reason exists.

Molly Ball, writing in The Atlantic:

While Obama’s office in Sterling is one of more than 800 across the country — concentrated, of course, in the swing states — Romney commands less than half that number, about 300 locations. In the swing states, the gap is stark. Here’s the numerical comparison in what are generally considered the top three swing states — Ohio, Florida and Virginia:

Ridden with anxiety all over again–that’s me. Right back to normal.

Rick Wilson, you’re a political professional, and you’re on the ground right there in Florida. What do you make of this?

  1. Arahant

    Take a few deep breaths, Peter.  It’s not the number of the offices, it’s their effectivenss.

    A political campaign is not a jobs program to maximize employment or rental space.

    Productivity is not measured by the number of people, it is the output divided by the manhours.

  2. Illiniguy

    It’s part of Obama’s full employment plan, and probably was done to enhance the October job numbers.

  3. Schrodinger

    Seems to me the TEA party is working under the radar and will offset BO’s advantage in offices. Also, GOP enthusiasm will get people out w/o GOTV.

    Let’s not be anxious or over confident.

  4. Peter Robinson
    C
    Arahant: Take a few deep breaths, Peter.  It’s not the number of the offices, it’s their effectivenss. · 0 minutes ago

    Not much comfort in that thought, either, I’m afraid, Arahant.  More from Molly Ball’s article:

    These basic characteristics were repeated in all the offices I visited: The Obama offices were devoted almost entirely to the president’s reelection; the Republican offices were devoted almost entirely to local candidates, with little presence for Romney. In Greenwood Village, Colorado, I walked in past a handwritten sign reading “WE ARE OUT OF ROMNEY YARD SIGNS,” then had a nice chat with a staffer for Rep. Mike Coffman. In Canton, Ohio, the small GOP storefront was dominated by “Win With Jim!” signs for Rep. Jim Renacci. Obama’s nearest offices in both places were all Obama….

    In a technical sense, the Romney campaign actually does not have a ground game at all. It has handed over that responsibility to the Republican National Committee….

  5. The Mugwump

    My answer is on the member feed.  I think I anticipated you, Peter, by about 20 minutes.  “Let your not your heart be troubled.”

  6. wmartin

    Thanks a lot. I was already worried and depressed enough about Richard Mourdock’s effect on turnout for suburban white women, now I have something new to obsess over.

  7. DocJay

    I bet effiency of manpower and financial resources is fairly compatible with most democrat government programs.   Until a week or three ago they were unenthusiastically trumpeting a sure victory and giving little effort.   Now they must prowl like zombies door to door and act like their big brained debating dummy is awesome?   Think of them as the Chinese Army in the Korean war and the human waves falling before accurately firing soldiers.

  8. Arahant

    Peter, Obama is our get-out-the-vote spokesman.

  9. Peter Robinson
    C
    ~Paules: My answer is on the member feed.  I think I anticipated you, Peter, by about 20 minutes.  “Let your not your heart be troubled.” · 5 minutes ago

    Not the first time, Paules, that you’ve turned a corner before I even saw it.  Thanks, man.  Will now hop over to the Member Feed.

  10. Hang On

    They’re out of Romney yard signs and this is a bad sign?

    And Romney is integrated into local Republicans while the President stands alone. Excellent. Republicans want Romney along. The other Democrats don’t want Obama along.

    Why are you worried? Seems like excellent news. Didn’t you ever learn to read Pravda?

  11. Albert Arthur

    Didn’t Rick Wilson answer this very question on the Ricochet Podcast a few weeks ago?

  12. Arsenal

    Read the RNC memo on early voting that came out yesterday.  Yes, it’s the RNC and, yes, they spin things hard. But numbers are numbers and these numbers indicate that our EV/AV numbers look good relative to 2008 and relative to the Dems EV/AV numbers.  This is, in large part, due to the effectiveness of our field offices.  

  13. Peter Robinson
    C
    Albert Arthur: Didn’t Rick Wilson answer this very question on the Ricochet Podcast a few weeks ago? · 1 minute ago

    He did address this point, saying the Republican ground game in Florida looked darned good.  That’s why I called Rick out on the post.  What Molly Ball reports and what Rick sees just don’t seem to square.  

    Rick, Rick?  Are you there?  Albert and I need to hear from you, man!

  14. Doc

    A little off topic of field offices, but Romney raised 111.8 million this month as of Oct 17.

  15. Albert Arthur

    Also, Mr Robinson, take heart:

    Foster McCollum White Baydoun (FMW)B

    , a national public opinion polling and voter analytics consulting firm based in Michigan and representing the combined resources of Foster McCollum White & Associates (Troy Michigan) and Baydoun Consulting (Dearborn Michigan) conducted a telephone-automated polling random survey of Michigan registered and most likely November 2012 General election voters for Fox 2 News Detroit to determine their voting and issue preferences for the presidential election. An initial qualifying statement was read to respondents asking them to participate only if they were very likely to vote in the November General Election.

    Thirty five thousand (35,000) calls were placed, and 1,122 respondents fully participated in the survey. The margin of error for this total polling sample is 2.93% with a confidence level of 95%.

    The 2012 United States Presidential election will be held on November 6, 2012. Who are you most likely to vote for in the election? President Barack Obama             46.92% Republican Nominee Mitt Romney            46.56% another candidate            2.30% Undecided             4.23%

     

    Michigan, Mr. Robinson. Michigan.

  16. KC Mulville

    Can’t wait for Rick to answer, but until he does …

    This happens every election with an incumbent.

    If I understand it correctly (and it’s entirely possible I don’t), the funds  you use to set up the “ground game” can’t be released until the candidate is named. Also, when you create the field office, your first step is assemble your staff and field workers – a restriction that doesn’t apply to a sitting president. You don’t create these offices for the primaries, at least in the same scale as for a general election.

    So this head start for the incumbent is normal, and it doesn’t reflect any underlying support for the president over Romney.

    It is, however, an advantage for the incumbent that really is worth worrying about. I agree that it’s a serious concern no matter why it exists; I just don’t think it says anything more than that.

  17. Yeah...ok.

    Peter, you’re an honorary Texan. Stand tall for a couple of weeks.

  18. Brian

    I would expect the two camps and parties to have very differant physical elements in place and perhaps implimentation of very new ideas about turning voters out.  The only way to know a campaigns real effectiveness in terms of ground game is at the final stretch and on voting day.

    The final stretch is underway and, when compared to 2008, there is a better early voter turnout among Repubs.  Ohio is looking more and more like a rigged game for/by Obama…..but Romney is still neck and neck.

  19. PJ
    Hang On: They’re out of Romney yard signs and this is a bad sign?

    And Romney is integrated into local Republicans while the President stands alone. Excellent. Republicans want Romney along. The other Democrats don’t want Obama along.

    Why are you worried? Seems like excellent news. Didn’t you ever learn to read Pravda? · 9 minutes ago

    Edited 9 minutes ago

    Yes.  I live in Virginia, and we got a Romney yard sign, but they would only give us one because they are running low.  MANY more Romney signs this year in my neighborhood (a pretty swingy Northern Virginia neighborhood) than McCain signs last time.

  20. Cuban Mike

    Does the number of campaign offices directly correlate to effective ground game?  Can we look at past elections as precedent?  Did the campaigns with the greater number of field offices win their respective elections, did they do so consistently?  

    The way I see it:

    Romney = decentralized delegation. Obama = centralized control.
    Peter Robinson:

    In Greenwood Village, Colorado, I walked in past a handwritten sign reading “WE ARE OUT OF ROMNEY YARD SIGNS,” then had a nice chat with a staffer for Rep. Mike Coffman. In Canton, Ohio, the small GOP storefront was dominated by “Win With Jim!” signs for Rep. Jim Renacci. Obama’s nearest offices in both places were all Obama….

    18 minutes ago

    There are two ways of viewing this.  I’ll leave it up to you.  Personally, I’m optimistic, if cautious.  

    It’s time to redouble our efforts.  Contact your local Romney field office and see what you can do to help and volunteer.  Hand wringing won’t get us much more than heart burn.