A candidate can run the slickest campaign with best ads and still lose if they don’t get their people to the booth on election day or cast their ballot ahead of time. In the campaign’s final weeks the all-important ground game will take center stage and each campaign has strong arguments for holding the upper hand:
Get-out-the-vote efforts have moved front and center for both campaigns, particularly here in Florida, reflecting the tightening of the race in all the battleground states and nationally. With Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney…preparing for their third and final debate…their surrogates Mr. Biden and Representative Paul D. Ryan were busy firing up their bases, the essence of voter turnout.
Lessons from 2008
Republicans say that this time around, they are light-years ahead of the lackluster voter turnout efforts in 2008 for Senator John McCain, whose campaign began running short of money in the late stages. “We learned from a lot of research and testing that volunteer door knocking is the purest form of voter contact,” said Rich Beeson, national political director for the Romney campaign.
Air war parity
Both sides acknowledge that as they pour millions of dollars into television ads, a rough parity will exist in the air war. In the coming week, the Obama campaign and its outside allies and the Romney campaign and its backers will spend roughly the same in Florida, totaling over $8 million, according to a firm that tracks political advertising.
Two strong hands
Both sides cite a blizzard of numbers to show who is doing a better job contacting and motivating voters one by one. Mr. Biden said Democrats had registered 14,264 new voters before the deadline Oct. 9. Republicans counter that since 2008 they have added enough new voters to narrow Democrats’ historic registration advantage by 150,000. Democrats boast of 104 field offices in Florida, where 29 electoral votes are at stake. Republicans say that at their 47 offices so many new volunteers have come forward since Mr. Romney’s commanding first debate performance that the intensity is on their side.