Romney Nevada Campaign Getting a Boost

The state GOP party in Nevada is one of the worst in the country.  It was fully taken over by Ron Paul zealots who mostly won’t support Mitt Romney. Seeing this coming far in advance the RNC helped form “Team Nevada” which is essentially the fully funded state party since all the funds were yanked from the formal state party.  Despite these hic-cups the state remains a strong possibility for GOP pickup despite Team Obama bravado to the contrary. Now they are getting a boost of fire-power from now through the election day to bring this one home:

The Republican National Committee is deploying two regional directors to Nevada through the Nov. 6 election to boost GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign in the battleground state and increase his chances of defeating President Barack Obama, a top Republican official said Tuesday. Rick Wiley, the political director of the RNC, said Republicans just surpassed making 1 million voter contacts in Nevada and added 100,000 more Romney supporters with the election seven weeks away and both campaigns kicking into higher gear with frequent visits from Obama and Romney. Wiley said the 1 million voter mark is five times the number of voters Republicans had contacted at this point in the Nevada campaign in 2008 and in 2004, when President George W. Bush won re-election.

Democrats registered voter advantage diminished

Obama won in 2008, easily beating U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., thanks to a huge voter registration drive that added 100,000 Democrats to the rolls in Nevada. The Democrats have a 60,000 registered voter edge over Republicans now, and it’s growing by the day along with new nonpartisan voters. Wiley dismissed the Democrats’ voter registration advantage, saying it’s more important for Republicans to turn out longtime GOP voters and loyal Romney supporters who are more likely to cast ballots Nov. 6. He said the campaign is focusing on swaying nonpartisan voters, who could make the difference.

Campaign priority

The launch of the more aggressive GOP effort in Nevada comes as Romney is scheduled to campaign in Las Vegas on Friday, a month before early voting starts Oct. 20 in the state. The visit will be Romney’s sixth campaign stop in Nevada since April, when he became the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and his 16th stop in the state since February 2011, a GOP official said. Obama, too, has focused on Nevada more than any other battleground state, visiting 14 times since he became president in 2009 – more than any White House occupant – and seven times this year. Vice President Joe Biden has visited Nevada several times this year as well. And GOP vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, has campaigned twice in the Silver State so far.

The bad economy albatross

Nevada also is a key test of whether Obama’s plea to give him four more years to fix the economy will work because the state has been hit harder than any other with record high unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure rates. On Friday, the day Romney plans to campaign in Las Vegas, new Nevada unemployment figures are scheduled to be released, giving him an opportunity to highlight the issue. Last month, the jobless rate rose to 12 percent – 12.9 percent in Clark County – or several points higher than the national average.

Tight race decided by ground game

Despite the limping economy, recent polls show the presidential race in Nevada remains a near dead heat with Obama having a slight advantage. Last month, Obama was edging out Romney 47 percent to 45 percent in a poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and taken by Survey USA. Wiley said he believes Romney can win Nevada because the GOP is running a get-out-the-vote operation that is far more aggressive than in recent years to compete against the Democratic Party’s aggressive state operation that helped re-elect U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 2010 and helped Obama win in 2008. “The ground game we put together is the best we’ve ever had,” Wiley said. “I have a regional director who’s going to spend the next 49 days in Nevada. This is an important state.”

Help is on the way

Emily Cornell, the RNC regional director, will be based in Las Vegas, Wiley said. Another regional director will be coming to the state within days to work out of Reno, he added. Cornell has experience working in the 2008 and 2010 campaign cycles, including in Texas, Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky and Oregon. She currently is overseeing a region that includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Alaska and Missouri. Wiley said Republicans from outside Nevada will flood the state in the coming weeks as well, including from California, Idaho and Utah – one blue and two red states that are not competitive.

Team Obama all McKayla Maroney

The Obama campaign, too, is relying on workers and volunteers to flood the election battleground zone. A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign said Republicans can’t match Obama’s deep organization. “Our volunteers have been active in communities across the state since 2007,” said Aoife McCarthy of the Obama campaign. “From Sparks to Pahrump, neighbor to neighbor, conversations have happened nonstop. It is these conversations illustrating the clear choice in this election and how President Obama’s plan will move us forward, strengthen the middle class, continue to provide quality health care and protect higher education funding that will get people to the polls starting October 20. The ground game and the effort that we have built can’t be replicated in the final 49 days.”

Ground game metrics

Obama’s campaign has 25 offices in Nevada, 20 of them in Southern Nevada – including in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and one in Pahrump – and four offices in the Reno-Sparks area. There is no Obama office in rural Nevada, where Republicans dominate, according to the campaign’s website. The Team Nevada operation for Romney’s campaign began opening offices in May and now has 11 across the state, including six in Southern Nevada: two in Las Vegas, two in Henderson, and one each in Pahrump and Mesquite. Two Team Nevada offices also are open in Reno and one each in Carson City, the state capital, Fernley and Elko, a mining town in far northeastern Nevada.

Base issue?

Wiley questioned the Obama strategy of focusing so much on Southern Nevada where Democrats dominate, including Hispanics and African-American voters who overwhelmingly back Obama. “That screams to me they have a base problem,” Wiley said. “That strategy is strange to me.” The Nevada Democratic Party mocked the GOP endgame push to beef up the Romney effort.

One Trackback

  1. […] at the bottom of this ABC report about bolstering Colorado and Nevada efforts (we blogged the Nevada boost 2 days ago) are incredible metrics showing a dramatically more robust effort in 2012: With polls […]

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