Tag Archives: Field Offices

The Debate Game-Changer in Pennsylvania

Only the staunchest of partisans refused to admit that Pennsylvania was trending strongly towards Obama among the Battleground States.  The reality was while Romney almost certainly will outperform John McCain in 2008, it was simply too much ground to make up across a diverse and changing state.  That all may have changed when Mitt Romney announced his presence with authority in the recent debate.  Ruth-Ann Dailey at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look at the sudden sea change in Romney Pennsylvania campaign offices as well as across the state:

Days before besting President Barack Obama in their first debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney was telling a cheering crowd in Wayne, Pa., “We’re going to win Pennsylvania,” while his aides were admitting to reporters that they probably could not. The day after the debate, the 24 Romney offices throughout Pennsylvania fielded 100 new volunteers and had another 200 re-up for new shifts, according to campaign staff. “The Dems seem to think they’ve had [this state] in their pockets for a long time,” said Billy Pitman, the Romney campaign’s state spokesman, “but we’ve got an incredible ground game.

Disaffected 2008 Obama supporters

Whether it’s “incredible” or not, the dissatisfied former Obama voters that the new Romney volunteers will be targeting have actually been out there for two years or more, their numbers growing and — inexplicably, to some — overlooked. Larry Taylor is one of them. A coal miner and registered Democrat in Greene County, he paused a few days ago at an Emerald Mine portal to talk politics before his shift began. Yes, he voted for President Obama in 2008, but in this year’s primary, he left the presidential slot blank. Yes, that was on purpose. No, he won’t be voting for Mr. Obama come November.

The “undervote”

There are thousands of Democrats like him across the commonwealth. They are part of the “undervote” — primary voters who failed or declined, for whatever reason, to vote for their own party’s unopposed incumbent. Some write in another candidate’s name; others leave that section blank, since there’s no real contest, or because they intend, like Larry Taylor, to announce a resounding “no.” In any given year, says Keegan Gibson, managing editor of PoliticsPA.com, the undervote in a statewide or national race might range “from 15 to 23 percent — but usually it’s fairly consistent in most counties.” This year was different. President Obama’s undervote ranged widely — from single digits in Philadelphia, Delaware and Chester counties to the mid-40s in north-central and southwestern Pennsylvania. In 37 counties his undervote was above 25 percent, and in 16 of those, it topped 35 percent.

War on coal

A quick look at a state map reveals a substantial overlap between counties where the undervote was high and counties where the coal and natural gas industries are strong. The nearest to Pittsburgh is Greene County, where hundreds, even thousands, of lawn signs read, “Stop the War on Coal — Fire Obama.” Here, 3,863 (of 14,318) registered Democrats voted in the spring primary, but only 2,247 voted for President Obama — a 42 percent undervote. By contrast, the Greene County undervote for the unopposed Eugene DePasquale (for auditor general) and Rob McCord (for state treasurer) was only 30 percent. And in 2006, according to PoliticsPA, Gov. Ed Rendell’s undervote was 26 percent.

Ground game and turnout

[I]t’s another question whether these disaffected Democrats in the state’s less populated areas are numerous enough to offset the president’s much stronger support in its big cities. It all comes down to voter turnout — and each campaign’s “ground game.” The Obama website lists 45 offices statewide; Romney has 24. Back in November 2008, Greene County turnout was 64 percent; John McCain won here by 60 votes. The much-reviled “war on coal” has only reduced President Obama’s support.

Not single issue voters

At a fast-food spot near the interstate, a state employee who doesn’t want her name made public says the president lost her vote with “Obamacare.” “To me, it’s socialist — forcing people to do something they can’t afford.” At Hot Rod’s, a busy Waynesburg barbecue spot, Democrat Jeff Taylor, a factory worker and Desert Storm vet who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008, now describes himself as “on the fence” and said, “I don’t think his policies are working, but it seems like it doesn’t matter who’s in there.” Back at the Emerald Mine portal, only one of the dozen registered Democrats I interviewed says he still supports the president — and that’s because he figures the mining jobs lost to oppressive coal regulations won’t be any greater than those lost to the “outsourcing” he expects in a Romney economy.

Changing times

I stopped one man wearing an Iraq War ballcap, in a pickup with a Marine Corps window decal. I start my questions: Are you a registered Democrat? He smiles. “I was until last week.” Maybe Pennsylvania is in play.

A Look at Campaign Canvassers in Ohio

I have a great number of posts on the incredible performance of the Romney campaign’s ground forces.  The same efforts are being made on the Obama side of the ledger and they each have their own unique cultures.  The Washington Post embedded a couple reporters on the front lines with both campaigns for an up-close look at the ground troops in Ohio:

A day with Romney and Obama canvassers in this hotly contested area of northeastern Ohio provides a snapshot of what both campaigns cast as the most critical piece of their White House bids: the volunteer-driven, pavement-pounding grind known as the ground game. With millions of dollars being poured into TV advertising, social media and other high-tech strategies, both campaigns say they are more convinced than ever that face-to-face conversations are by far the most effective form of contact with voters, and those efforts are robust than Ohio and the other swing states. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests the importance of all that attention. While the survey found the race to be close nationally — with 49 percent of likely voters siding with Obama and 47 percent with Romney — the disparity is much wider in swing states, with 52 percent siding with Obama and 41 percent with Romney. Roughly a third of all voters in “tossup” states say they’ve heard from each side.

Team Obama

In the case of the Obama campaign, officials say they are mostly dusting off the 2008 playbook, turning into standard practice tactics considered revolutionary four year ago. They are rebuilding networks of “neighborhood leaders” who organize their Zip codes, a system bolstered by vast voter databases. “There’s really no need to mess with success,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. Their Ohio operation: nearly 120 bricks-and-mortar offices across the state with at least 600 paid staffers working with thousands of volunteers who have been phone-banking since late last year and door-knocking since April, according to Redfern. Their Mentor Avenue operation is a long table strewn with hand sanitizer, spare reading glasses and 20 cellphones for phone-banking. The walls are plastered with Obama posters and others outlining neighborhood team events and the organizing mantra “empower, include, win.”

Team Romney

Romney campaign officials say they are placing a much stronger emphasis on door-knocking than phone-calling this time, an effort driven by what they describe as an unprecedented quantity and quality of data. Rich Beeson, the campaign’s political director, said the ground operation, in turn, is heavily focused at the moment on “low-propensity” voters — those who are identified as solid Republicans but who don’t always vote. The goal of door-knockers is to encourage them to vote early — to mail in an absentee ballot or apply for one. “Nationwide, we’ve already knocked on 2 million more doors than we knocked on in 2008,” Beeson said. “We consider door knocks the purest form of voter contact. Ohio week in and week out leads in the metrics we lay out and nationwide.” The Ohio operation, with more than 40 offices deploying thousands of volunteers, hit 137,000 doors across the state last week alone, campaign officials said. The Mentor Avenue operation has 12 black phones set on four white folding tables, with two more phones being unpacked from cardboard boxes this morning. The walls are covered with uniform rows of “Romney-Believe” posters and others of state candidates. “In all our polling, public and private, we are matching them in terms of the number of people who say they’ve heard from both campaigns,” Beeson said. “That tells me that the quality of our data and voter contact program is just as powerful as their offices and staff.”

Trash talk

If the volunteers don’t trash-talk one another, their bosses do. Romney officials roll their eyes at the idea that the Obama team revolutionized grass-roots organizing. “Don’t forget, in 2004 we had the largest ground operation in American history,” Beeson said, referring to George W. Bush’s successful reelection bid. Obama campaign officials scoff at the notion that the GOP camp could possibly be matching them door for door. “I find it hard to believe that a party in disarray just a few months ago about who should be their leader is now knocking on 137,000 doors a week,” Redfern said.

Obama ground effort

Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers know the cold, hard truth: They, on average, have to knock on 10 doors to reach just one or two voters. [Canvassers] carried clipboards with maps and targeted addresses, the result of months of phone calls and personal outreach to identify the people to pitch: persuadable, lukewarm and strong Obama voters, a task that has been more difficult than if was four years ago.“I just think that the level of enthusiasm has mellowed just a bit,” said Gavin-Wagner, who housed out-of-state volunteers in 2008…After nearly two hours, they returned to the office to report their progress: 61 doors, 18 contacts, a typical weekend haul. The data would be processed by volunteers overseen by two paid staffers from New Jersey and Wisconsin.

Romney ground effort

The Romney campaign’s [canvasser] has been knocking on doors almost every day since August. He averaged about 75 a day, except on the afternoon he almost fainted with low blood sugar. And here he was again, arriving on Dearborn Drive, clipboard under his arm, Romney-Ryan brochures in hand. His job on this day was not to convince undecideds but to contact Republican-leaning voters and encourage them to mail in absentee ballots or vote early. “Maybe you’ll hit one out of five houses.” Even on tough days — and this was one — [the canvasser] said he remains optimistic. The Mentor Avenue office has been getting busier… [F]inal tally: 45 doors, five personal contacts.

Obama Forced to Campaign Today in a State He Won by 14 Points in 2008

And the pollsters are modelling that he will have a larger turnout advantage in 2012 than he did in 2008… Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

It’s been 220 days since President Obama last visited Wisconsin. He avoided involvement in the state’s high-stakes gubernatorial recall earlier this year, has not campaigned for re-election here, and has spent little cash on TV ads, all largely because he hasn’t had to. Until now. Wisconsin was supposed to be a reliable foothold for Obama, who won it by 14-points over Sen. John McCain in 2008. Democratic candidates for president have carried the state in every election since 1984. Now it’s a hotly contested battleground.

Ground Game

The Romney campaign says the fight of Walker continues to energize state conservatives, yielding the most robust grassroots operation in Wisconsin in a generation. Millions of voter contacts made during the recall campaign have been rolled over to the general election, officials said. Gov. Romney has held 17 events in Wisconsin since Obama’s most recent visit in February, an official stop in Milwaukee to promote his manufacturing agenda.  He has been in state nine days, according to his campaign, to Obama’s one.

Nervous Team Obama

The Obama campaign began running TV ads in the state for the first time this campaign 10 days ago and have stepped up appearances by Obama surrogates across the state.  Vice President Joe Biden’s two visits this year – to Eau Claire and Green Bay — have come in the past three weeks alone.  First Lady Michelle Obama held her single Wisconsin rally of the campaign in Milwaukee in late August and later met with victims of the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek.  Former President Bill Clinton appeared in Wisconsin in June.

Field Offices (see caveats below)

Democrats have also assembled an aggressive grassroots organizing operation for voter registration and turnout that Obama aides regularly cite as one of their greatest assets in Wisconsin ahead of Election Day.  The Obama campaign has 54 field offices in Wisconsin compared to Romney’s 25 so-called “Victory Centers” across the state.

A couple quick points about field offices.  The field offices disparity is bunk.  Many of those are virtual filed offices out of people’s homes — not actual office space.  Second, those Romney Victory Offices?  They are the exact Scott Walker Victory offices he used for his big recall win.  The day after the election each Walker office immediately flipped to Romney Victory offices.  I kinda like Scott Walker’s ground game prowess…and so do the Democrats.

What’s Bigger News: Michigan is in Play or Robert Gibbs Says National Polls are Wrong?

Yesterday Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs sat down at a political forum in Lansing, Michigan and revealed a great many political insights.  They disagreed on plenty but it was interesting to see first, Karl Rove forcefully argue Michigan is either in  play or will be on election day. But maybe more telling was  Robert Gibbs, rather than latch onto these unrealistic national polls showing Obama with huge leads, conceded the race will go down to the wire.  Here’s the write-up:

Two of the country’s foremost political strategists predict the presidential race will be extremely tight but veer apart on whether Michigan’s in play for Republican Mitt Romney.

Wait a second.  That throwaway open completely contradicts the wave of national polls saying Barack Obama is a shoe-in this November.  What does Robert Gibbs know that our state-run media isn’t telling us?

Robert Gibbs, a senior campaign adviser for President Barack Obama, said Wednesday night that the fight is being waged in eight or nine states. “You [Michigan] currently are not one of them,” he told the crowd at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative reception and dinner, reasoning that the state has not been inundated with presidential TV ads.

Not so fast  Mr. Gibbs

That drew a response from his on-stage partner Karl Rove, the GOP strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush who is behind two conservative political organizations spending big money against Obama this election cycle. He pointed out that Restore Our Future, a different pro-Romney group, is again running a TV ad in the state. Neither campaign has paid for airtime here since the February presidential primary, though. “Michigan is going to be in play,” Rove said. “You go tell (state GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak) it’s not in play. That guy’s raising a bundle of money for 23 Victory Centers. We’re already on pace to exceed the number of phone calls and the number of doors knocked and the number of contacts that we made in the state in 2004.” He said Gibbs and Democrats want Michigan voters to have the mentality that the race is over.

Burying the lede

Regardless of what happens in Michigan, both strategists anticipate a tight race nationally. “This is going to be an extraordinarily close election. It was always going to be an extraordinarily close election,” Gibbs said, noting that Obama only won 53 percent of the vote in what pundits called a “landslide” election.

So Gibbs admits both a) those national polls are wholly inaccurate and untrue to the state of the race and b) the media will exaggerate anything positive for Obama to absurd levels.  Thanks for the moment of candor

The 47% comment

Rove acknowledged Romney will “roll in the tank” for a week because of the comments but argued that Obama had made controversial statements, too. The economy and the candidates’ economic plans will have more sway for voters than remarks made at a fundraiser, he said, discounting the notion that they will cost Romney the presidency…Gibbs said the comments were not fatal to Romney’s chances.

So that secret tape about the 47% wasn’t fatal?  The media lied to me?  I’m shocked… shocked to find out the media isn’t telling the truth.

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.

Continue reading

The Battle for Florida

Earlier I sung the praises of Michael Steele for getting the Convention in Tampa despite the bed-wetter cries about the weather at the start. Nate Silver breaks down the entire state of Florida with its partisan divide across the state concluding that the choice of Tampa for this year’s convention was a brilliant move for the GOP. As he writes: “In every election since 1960 the presidential candidate who carried Florida has also carried Tampa’s Hillsborough County.” Considering the likelihood that if Romney cannot carry Florida, he likely cannot win the election, perhaps Governor Romney should send a thank you note to the embattled but successful former Chairman if come November we are calling him President Romney:

The Republican Party has good reason to hold its national convention in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa area is the most competitive section of the most competitive region in one of the most competitive states in the nation — the perfect place to seek a glimmer of extra advantage in a closely-fought presidential contest. In many ways, the Tampa area was the weakest link in the regional coalition that Barack Obama built to win Florida in 2008. The Tampa-St. Petersburg media market is home to a quarter of Florida’s registered Republicans, and Mr. Obama carried Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties — home to Tampa and St. Petersburg — by a smaller margin than Florida’s other major population centers. If Mitt Romney wants to win the state, it represents the most attractive target.

And winning Florida is a must for Mr. Romney. Based on the simulations that the FiveThirtyEight forecast model ran on Tuesday, Mr. Romney has only a 0.3 percent chance of winning the election if he loses the state. It is hard to conceive of Mr. Romney winning the election but losing Florida because Florida is an ever-so-slightly Republican-leaning state. If he loses it, he’s probably having trouble elsewhere on the map as well. It’s quite unlikely that Mr. Romney loses Florida but wins a state like Michigan or Pennsylvania, for instance.

Democrat South Florida

Just over a third of Florida’s registered Democrats live in the Miami and West Palm Beach media markets, especially in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County.

  • Broward County, in particular, is critical to Democratic margins in Florida. Without Broward County Mr. Obama would have lost Florida in 2008; his statewide margin of victory (204,577 votes) was less than his margin in Broward (252,948 votes).
  • Miami-Dade County is reliably Democratic. Its large Cuban-American population leans Republican and keeps the county from tilting all the way to the left. Miami-Dade County is home to 58 percent of Florida’s Hispanic Republicans and 34 percent of Hispanic Democrats.

The I-4 Corridor: from Tampa to Orlando

  • Orlando’s Orange County was just marginally Democratic in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Then — partly because of an influx of non-Cuban Hispanics — Mr. Obama carried Orange County fairly easily in 2008, and the county itself is probably out of reach for Republicans now. “It’s really tipping the state,” Mr. deHaven-Smith said. A potential dream scenario for Democrats — and a nightmare for Republicans — is if the demographic shifts in this region are enough to shift Florida from being slightly Republican-leaning to strictly neutral, or slightly Democratic-leaning instead.

Continue reading

Is Michigan a Battleground State?

We have had Michigan in the mix from the beginning, as has the Romney campaign. Political pundits have been split on the state with only a minority arguing it is a Battleground. The Battlecreek Enquirer takes a look at the state to assess what is happening on the ground in the Great Lakes State and provides some interesting data points for observers of all political persuasions:

During presidential election years, Michigan is not a solid blue, like California or New York, despite the fact that no Republican presidential candidate has carried the state since 1988. But it’s not a deep purple like Ohio or Florida, two of the most fought-over electoral prizes. Four of a dozen major media outlets include it in their list of battleground states and eight don’t, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics Web site.

Commitment of resources:

Republicans say there’s nothing soft about their intent to win Michigan this fall. The 20 offices the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have in Michigan is less than the 30 it has in Ohio but close to the 21 it’s operating in Virginia. The [Obama] campaign has 11 offices in Michigan and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to campaign in the state this week. Outside groups supporting Romney have weighed in, spending more than $5 million in ads against Obama since May, according to the National Journal. But Crossroads GPS and Restore Our Future have spent twice that amount in Ohio.

What does a competitive Michigan mean?

“The Republicans could win without Michigan. I’m not sure if the Democrats could,” said Rhodes Cook, a political analyst and editor of the Rhodes Cook letter. “It would be a big pickoff because this is one that Democrats — from (Bill) Clinton to (Al) Gore to (John) Kerry to Obama — have counted on and all of them have carried it. So if Obama doesn’t carry it, that’s a loss for the Democrats.” Matt Grossman, an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University, said Michigan is a state where the Romney campaign has been on the offensive while the Obama campaign hasn’t spent a lot of resources on it. “It’s not that they think it’s a clear case,” Grossman said of the Obama campaign’s approach. “They just think if they’ve lost Michigan, they’ve probably lost a lot of other states that would lose them the election as well.”

Continue reading

Romney Victory Center Opening Today in Ontario, Ohio

Come out today and join Ohio Senator Rob Portman at the opening of the Romney Victory Center in Ontario, Ohio at 11:30am.

The office is located at:
2069 West 4th St
Ontario, OH 44960

You can RSVP here.

Update: Here is the Senator phoning supporters:

Romney Victory Office Opens Monday in Waukee, Iowa

Consistent with the unprecedented commitment we have seen elsewhere in Iowa, the Romney campaign continue to fill out the framework for an incredible push over the coming months to swing Iowa back into the GOP column:

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham and other Republican elected officials will be present on Monday for the opening of a Mitt Romney campaign office in Waukee. The opening will take place at 5 p.m. at 43 Northeast Carefree Lane.

Latham, as well as Iowa Senate District 22 Sen. Pat Ward, Iowa House District 19 Rep. Ralph Watts and Iowa House candidate Rob Taylor will give remarks, according to a press release. The office is part of a campaign effort that is a partnership between the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of Iowa and Romney for President. It will focus both on Romney’s campaign, but also electing Republicans across the ticket.

Romney Opens Victory Office in Steubenville, Ohio

As part of the Super Saturday in Ohio, the Romney campaign opened another field office in Steubenville:

The Republican Party is heating up the Presidential race in Ohio; a state they know is critical to winning the election in November. The Romney Campaign opened new headquarters on Saturday inside the Fort Steuben Mall. Ohio Valley republicans were there show their support and had a chance to speak with local politicians.

Congressman Bill Johnson and Senator Pat Toomey also attended to kick off Romney’s new Campaign headquarters. They discussed topics important to the upcoming election, such as job creation and Obama-care. Senator Toomey says Romney’s experience in the private sector will enable him to make it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners to create news jobs throughout the state.

Also at Saturday’s event, volunteers were signed up to make calls and go door-to-door for the Romney campaign. Congressman Johnson says it’s supporters like the ones at Saturday’s event that can determine the Presidential election. Republicans also say they will work to change current EPA regulations that are hindering energy production in industries important to the Ohio Valley such as coal and shale.

Obama supporters protested outside the mall. 7 News was told they had to be asked to leave inside near where the headquarters are located.

Romney Victory Offices Open in Pennsylvania

Considering at one point the Romney campaign likely was not going to compete in Pennsylvania, things have changed dramatically over the last two months. Yesterday they opened their 20th field office in the state:

Republicans ramped up Romney’s campaign in the Lehigh Valley as they opened a “victory office” Saturday morning at Bethlehem‘s Westgate Mall. The office, one of three opening Saturday in Pennsylvania, will serve as a hub for volunteers, an outlet for campaign signs, a meeting place for neighborhood canvassing and space for a phone bank for Romney and other GOP candidates. Speaking to a crowd of more than 100 who attended the opening, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey called the Lehigh Valley crucial in determining whether Romney will carry Pennsylvania, considered a swing state. He said Lehigh and Northampton are among six key counties that will determine who wins the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes. The other four surround Philadelphia, he said. The Republicans also opened offices Saturday in Luzerne and Lancaster counties. There are now 20 such offices across the state.

Obama’s campaign, under Organizing for America, has 32 offices, according to its website. The Obama campaign opened its first Pennsylvania field office, at 1031 W. Linden St. in Allentown, in January while Republicans were still duking it out in the primaries. Tens of thousands of volunteers worked out of dozens of storefront offices and homes to help Obama win Pennsylvania and the White House in 2008. That effort was powered by volunteers and a sophisticated online campaign that registered and turned out hundreds of thousands of new voters. Republicans called for such grassroots commitment Saturday in speeches by Toomey, Lehigh County Republican Chairman Wayne Woodman and Tom Smith, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Obama Vulnerable in Florida

Florida remains a marquee state among the Battlegrounds due to its rich electoral count.  But the state has been trending Republican and Obama’s 2008 victory in the state was only by 3 percentage points, well below is national margin.  The landscape today is even more treacherous for the Obama campaign as he spends two days stumping in the Sunshine State:

The sour economy and housing market are creating problems for Mr. Obama in the state. Home prices have begun to rise, but nearly half of residential mortgages are underwater. Unemployment has dropped to 8.6% from its peak of 11.4%, but a state report found that most of the drop in the last six months came from people abandoning the labor force. Those data help explain why polls show Mr. Obama running dead-even against Republican Mitt Romney after carrying the state by three percentage points in 2008. Of all the battleground states, Mr. Obama’s aides say Florida and North Carolina are the biggest stretches for him.

Obama tries medi-scare

On Thursday, Mr. Obama tried to blunt Mr. Romney’s advantage among seniors, who make up about a quarter of the state’s voters. He said Mr. Romney would reduce the federal deficit in part by turning Medicare into a voucher program, a decision Mr. Obama said would hurt the state’s seniors. Mr. Romney and House Republicans have proposed similar plans for overhauling Medicare that would allow future seniors to buy insurance from private companies, which would receive federal subsidies for providing the coverage. Republicans say this would help reduce the deficit and shore up the finances of Medicare; Democrats say it would shift costs to seniors. Seniors could remain in the traditional Medicare program under the GOP plans, but Democrats say they would eventually have to pay more to do so.

Seniors remain soured on Obama

After Jacksonville, Mr. Obama flew to West Palm Beach’s Century Village, a retirement community and traditional Democratic stronghold. Florida’s seniors are a tough audience for Mr. Obama. Polls show the president’s support among them to be about as weak now as it was in 2008, when 45% voted for him and 53% voted for Republican John McCain. A Mason-Dixon poll of registered voters in Florida, released last week, showed 42% of the state’s seniors backing Mr. Obama, compared to 47% for Mr. Romney. It was the weakest hold that Mr. Obama had on any age group.

Continue reading

Ann Romney in Michigan July 20

The aspiring First Lady will hit Mitt’s old stomping grounds later today heralding the opening of a new field office:

The presumptive GOP nominee’s wife, Ann Romney, will stump for her husband in the battleground state of Michigan on Friday. Romney will attend a Victory Center opening in Royal Oak while her husband campaigns in New Hampshire prior to his trip overseas to Israel and London for the Olympics Games next week. Polling indicates a tight race in the Great Lakes State between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor’s wife has been increasingly visible on the trail campaigning with her husband as August’s Republican National Convention draws near.

Rick Santorum to Campaign for Romney in Pennsylvania

The top-two campaign rivals in the GOP primary have more than mended fences as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will campaign for Mitt Romney at the opening of his newest Field Office in the Keystone State:

This weekend former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will hold his first formal campaign event for Mitt Romney since he became the presumptive Republican nominee, sources close to Santorum tell ABC News. Santorum, who emerged as one of Romney’s last opponents standing after a hard-fought primary season, will appear on Saturday at the opening of the Romney campaign’s Greensburg, Pennsylvania victory office. It’s familiar turf for Santorum who used to represent that area of southwestern Pennsylvania in Congress.

Up until now the former rival has not been in close touch with the Romney campaign. Santorum had said he was willing to campaign for the former Massachusetts governor, but since the meeting between the erstwhile foes in May there has been limited contact between the two camps, Santorum sources said. Saturday’s event represents another step in the peace-making process between Santorum and Romney, and it is also a sign that the Romney campaign believes Santorum can be a helpful surrogate in the country’s economically-struggling Rust Belt area. Santorum was asked to participate in the Greensburg office opening by the Romney campaign and Republican party officials, and “he was happy to accept the request,” according to a source familiar with the planning of the event.

Rick Perry to Stump for Romney in Nevada

The Romney campaign continues to employ heavy-hitting surrogates across the country.  This time, highly successful though unskilled debater, Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make his first campaign appearance on behalf of Mitt Romney Friday in Nevada, ABC News has learned. Perry will appear at the opening of the Romney campaign’s field office in Elko, Nevada, on Friday. Romney will not be in attendance.

Perry, who dropped his own presidential bid and threw his initial backing behind Newt Gingrich just two days before the South Carolina primary, endorsed Romney in late April but has yet to publicly campaign for his one-time rival. In late May, Perry and Romney held a joint conference call with the Texas governor’s top donors, urging his network to raise money for the former Massachusetts governor. First lady of Texas Anita Perry attended a fundraiser with Ann Romney in Texas in May as well.

Romney Beating Obama in Virginia … Field Offices

Yesterday we saw the Romney campaign quickly closing in on President Obama’s ground game advantage in Ohio via opened field offices.  Now comes a report that Romney has taken the lead among field offices in Virginia:

On June 30, the Republicans’ “Victory 2012” campaign – a joint effort of Romney’s camp, the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia – opened more than a dozen offices around the state. The GOP state offices now outnumber Obama’s, 23 to 17. The push, which Romney campaign officials say picked up 1,500 new volunteers, came on the heels of Romney’s two-day stint in the state, where he campaigned in Salem, near Roanoke, and in Sterling in Loudoun County. This past weekend, Republicans followed up with a “Super Saturday” push, reaching out to voters in Norfolk, Charlottesville and Fairfax.

New line of attack

Republicans will also open a new line of attack on the president today, with the Republican National Committee launching a website and series of events countering the president’s accusations that Romney outsourced jobs while at Bain Capital. The GOP website, ObamanomicsOutsourced.com, will focus on the president’s stimulus plan, claiming to offer “the truth about how Obama shipped the recovery overseas.”

Obama up for the challenge in the Old Dominion state

Obama kicked off his re-election effort with a rally in Richmond on May 5. He is expected to make stops in the Greater Richmond area this weekend as part of his scheduled two-day campaign swing through the state. Obama is expected to fly into Richmond International Airport on Saturday in eastern Henrico County and is expected to make a stop in South Richmond, according to a source familiar with the schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity. Additional details of the visit could not be determined. The president is also expected to make stops in Roanoke and the Tidewater region.

Romney Victory Offices Opening All Over Ohio

The Obama campaign is quick to point out how many field offices they have opened in battleground states and compare that to the Romney campaign’s disproportionate lower number.  While this is somewhat related to competing strategies it was always a reflection of Obama’s incumbency allowing an earlier start versus Romney battling away in the GOP primary. Despite the head-start, the Romney campaign has largely caught up in volume of campaign field offices in Ohio, but lags in aggregate campaign and national party offices:

Republican Mitt Romney is pulling even with President Obama in the number of campaign offices opened in Southwest Ohio, for those who are keeping score. The GOP has been on a “Victory Center” blitz, opening offices in Liberty Township on Saturday and in Clermont County, near Eastgate Mall, on Monday. Offices are also operating in Lebanon, Westwood and Kenwood, and by month’s end, a sixth office will open in Colerain Township. Technically, they are Republican party offices – not Romney offices – with the dual purpose of electing him president and assisting other Republicans down ticket.

The Republicans are closing the gap in the statewide office count, as well. In early June they had just seven campaign offices throughout Ohio, compared with 25 Obama offices. By the end of July, the GOP expects to have 35 offices in Ohio, compared with 41 Obama offices plus 18 Democratic Party campaign offices.

Why keep score? Despite the millions of dollars that will be spent on TV ads in Ohio, both sides agree that on-the-ground organizing is at least as critical to winning in November, if not more so. “The opening of these offices just reinforces the commitment our campaign has to running an aggressive grassroots operation across all 88 Ohio counties,” Romney spokesman Christopher Maloney said. “We’re prepared to match (Obama) volunteer for volunteer, door-knock for door-knock. That’s what wins elections, and that’s what we’re focused on.” He also targeted the grassroots in his bus tour through northern Ohio last week; stops included an ice cream social in Sandusky.

Iowa Evangelicals on Board with Romney

As if her 1300+ words in USA Today wasn’t enough, Jennifer Jacobs filed another 1100+ words on the evangelical vote and Romney’s appeal to this most-important voter bloc in Iowa. Included in this great piece is a nugget where of 12 evangelicals who viewed Romney “very unfavorable” in February, 11 are now voting for him.  Such is the unpopularity of Obama:

Romney’s strength in the 2012 Iowa caucuses was with economic voters, especially those in the Des Moines suburbs. But the same evangelical conservatives who sidestepped Romney twice in the Iowa caucuses could be his best friends in the
general election.

Local surrogate importance of Rep. Steve King

As the general election approaches, Romney is running as strongly as conservative icon U.S. Rep. Steve King with voters in Iowa’s GOP-dominant western coast, according to internal polling obtained by The Des Moines Register. That’s a good sign for Romney — there’s no such thing as a King/Obama voter. If Iowa’s evangelicals put a GOP presidential candidate over the top, it wouldn’t be the first time. Everyone — including the Register’s Iowa Poll — thought Democrat John Kerry would win Iowa in 2004. But a larger than expected evangelical voter turnout in the western part of the state secured the Iowa trophy for George W. Bush.  The guy with the spatula who flipped Iowa for Bush that year? King, said Chuck Laudner, the congressman’s former district director.

Repeat of 2004 or maybe not

Romney isn’t repeating Karl Rove’s 2004 appeal-to-the-base strategy in Iowa, his campaign strategists say. The Rove-directed George W. Bush re-election campaign targeted mainly northwest Iowa and a ring of Des Moines suburbs. Romney’s campaign intends to hold those coalitions in place, while pursuing voters in purple counties in eastern Iowa, southeast Iowa and central Iowa. President Barack Obama’s perceived liberal agenda alone is a bloody shirt that revs up the right, so Romney can invest his dollars in reeling in independents and conservative Democrats, numbers that could put him over the top in what is expected to be a close race here. And his message will focus on the economy, an issue that plays to his background as a businessman and the emotions of listeners pummeled by the recession and its aftermath.

Continue reading

Romney “Super Saturday” in Nevada Details

I can’t find anything on the wires so here is the official release from the campaign for the Nevada Super Saturday.  Remember Team Nevada is the real state GOP party following the Ron Paul supporters coup of state party officer positions.

On Saturday July 7th volunteers from Nevada will join with others around the nation to phone bank and go door-to-door for Mitt and the rest of the Team Nevada Republican candidates! Team Nevada is also excited to welcome former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to Las Vegas this Saturday where he will thank Super Saturday volunteers for their hard work!

Team Nevada Office Locations

  • Las Vegas (Summerlin) Office; 9640 West Tropicana Avenue, Suite 106, Las Vegas, NV 89147
  • Henderson Office; 8915 S. Pecos Road, Henderson, NV 89074
  • Reno Office; 3702 S. Virginia Street, Suite G1, Reno, NV 8950

Romney “Super Saturday” in Iowa

Props to the local CBS networks for reporting on the Romney “Super Saturdays.”  Here is Channel 3 in North Iowa, KIMT reporting on the voter outreach in Iowa:

The Republican Party is kicking off some intense volunteer efforts leading up to the November 6th elections. It’s called Super Saturday. It’s happening in swing states, including Iowa. Volunteers with the Republican Party are canvassing neighborhoods, knocking on doors the same way they will right before the election in November. “We’re getting out, we’re knocking on doors, we’re making phone calls, we’re talking to voters,” said volunteer Gabe Haugland. Haugland is one of the volunteers making the rounds in North Iowa. “Super Saturday is in preparation for the Get out the Vote effort in November. We’re testing our operations,” said Haugland.

The goal: To sway undecided voters and encourage people to make their voice heard in November. “I think Iowans expect it. They’re very educated voters, they’re sophisticated, they know the issues and so it’s important to get out and put the facts in their hands,” Haugland said. It’s a campaign strategy volunteers believe can make a big difference. “I think it means something when your neighbor shows up on your doorstep and is able to explain to you why they support Mitt Romney or why they support Steve King. I think that goes a long way, I think it’s really effective,” Haugland said.

The information gathered from Super Saturday will be used to determine things like which areas have the most undecided voters. The data will then help the party decide where to concentrate their future volunteer efforts.

Romney “Super Saturday” in Florida

The local Naples CBS station reports on the Romney “Super Saturday” voter blitz in Florida:

The Romney Campaign is open for business in Collier County. As part of Super Saturday, where 30 local offices in Florida spent the day reaching out to voters, the Republican Headquarters in Naples was transformed into the Romney Campaign office. Collier County has long been Romney Country. The Presumptive Republican Nominee carried Collier with 57% of the vote in this years primary. He also won it four years ago. But Naples Mayor John Sorey, the Honorary Collier County Campaign Chairman, says the former Massachusetts Governor will need a higher percentage that that if the republicans hope to carry the state. “We’re looking to get 70 percent, we want to get the republicans and the independents,” said Sorey, who cut the ribbon outside the office on US 41 in Naples. “It’s critical that we get an overwhelming victory here if we’re going to carry the state of Florida.”

The Obama Campaign has had its Collier County office up and running for the last three months. Republicans say the delay is due to the contested primary. Sorey says the late start shouldn’t make an impact. “If we don’t deliver Florida we’ll lose the election, that’s how critical it is.” The Romney Campaign has more than 30 local offices in Florida with another 20 planned to open before the election.

Romney “Super Saturday” in Ohio

Here is the Associated Press’ report on John Boehner kicking off the Romney voter blitz in Ohio:

House Speaker John Boehner knew he’d find a friendly crowd Saturday when he arrived in Liberty Township to open the Republican Party’s Butler County campaign office. So instead of trying to win their votes, Boehner reminded the 50 or so party loyalists who attended that getting their fellow Republicans to the polls will be crucial if they’re serious about beating President Barack Obama this fall. “Ohio is going to decide this election,” Boehner said. “If we win Ohio, Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States.”

Although Butler County has been a GOP stronghold for years and likely will be again this fall, Republicans and Democrats see it as a crucial battleground. The sense of urgency comes four months after Butler County voters stayed away from the polls in droves during the March 6 Ohio primary. Turnout was about 18 percent, even though the Republican primary still was hotly contested. In a county that gave 60 percent of the vote to John McCain in 2008, Republicans know a good showing can make a difference this fall. “Butler County is kind of the epicenter in Ohio,” said Kevin Crowther, a Liberty Township resident who attended the rally Saturday. He and dozens of others went door-to-door after Boehner’s speech to hand out pro-Romney brochures and to urge Republicans to vote.

Romney “Super Saturday” in Virginia

The Associated Press weighs in on Virginia‘s “Super Saturday” voter blitz:

Virginia Republican officials are sponsoring what they call “Super Saturday” events in three locations. The Republican Party of Virginia is sponsoring the events in Norfolk, Charlottesville and Fairfax to launch what they bill as the largest GOP get-out-the-vote operation in Virginia. The Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign are also part of the Saturday blitz. Republicans say they’ll part of a national effort to make hundreds of thousands of voter contacts by knocking on doors and making phone calls. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will kick off the Charlottesville opening, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen will be in Fairfax, while the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Pat Mullins, will do the honors at the Norfolk office.

Reuters estimates about 120 volunteers braved 106 degree heat and showed up in Fairfax:

Republican officials said they were determined to catch up with an intense ground game of their own. The party and Romney’s campaign have opened 23 offices in the state in the hope of recapturing Virginia’s 13 electoral votes this year. “No matter how much the president decides to stick into the state, we’re going to match them,” one party official said. In Fairfax, about 120 Republicans came out in 106-degree F (41-degree C) heat on Saturday to knock on voters’ doors. Dozens staffed a telephone bank.

This is happening in Battleground states all over the country and will continue once a month from now through election day.

Romney “Super Saturday” in Colorado

Picking up on the post from yesterday, the Associated Press has the goods on the Romney voter outreach in Colorado today:

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are making a push in Colorado to recruit volunteers and voters to gain ground in a key state where President Barack Obama has long had a presence. The Romney campaign is opening an office in Grand Junction on Saturday, the same day the Republican National Committee launches its first “Super Saturday” event. It’s an outreach effort nationwide targeting swing states. It’s another sign that Romney is amplifying his operations in places such as Colorado that are seen as pivotal to the election.

RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney said the GOP is confident that Romney has momentum heading into the fall, and that Colorado looks to be close, even though Obama easily won the state in 2008. “Obama has not been able to use his incumbency to give him a leg up in Colorado,” Mahoney said. Romney opened his Colorado headquarters last month in the Denver suburb of Lakewood. Romney’s campaign said it has been working with the RNC and the state party for months to build field operations across Colorado. Mahoney said Republicans will ramp up operations in the coming weeks, and expect their offices in the state to number in the mid-to-high teens. Currently, 10 Romney campaign offices are in Colorado, Mahoney said.

Bristow, Virginia Romney Victory Office Opens

A special guest joined the Romney campaign for the grand opening of its Bristow, Virginia Victory Office:

Artur Davis at Romney Victory Bristow, VA opening

That’s Artur Davis, former 4-term Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Alabama.  He left the party in 2011 and it looks like he’s found a new home.  Welcome aboard!

New Hampshire Field Office Opens

CNN takes a look at Mitt Romney’s sons stumping for their father at the opening of a New Hampshire field office:

For Mitt Romney, even his vacation digs may end up being all about location, location, location. Just across town from the lakeside vacation home where the presumptive GOP nominee settled into the holiday week with family Saturday, two Romney sons stumped for their dad in this state where a poll showed him running neck-and-neck with the president…A new NBC/Marist poll released Thursday showed the two men tied here, each at 45%.

Field Office opens

On a sunny Saturday morning, Josh and Craig Romney welcomed about 40 locals and state politicos for the opening of the Wolfeboro, New Hampshire campaign office. The office – a quaint green-roofed building sitting along Back Bay – is the latest in an expansion of real estate for the campaign here. With one employee and the rest volunteers, it is the campaign’s third state office. Several more outposts are slated to open this week. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama’s campaign boasts 10 offices in a state he won by nine points in 2008.

Taxpayers money

At the opening, Josh Romney pushed back against the Obama campaign’s criticism of his dad’s record at private equity company Bain Capital. “He gets criticized right now by President Obama a lot for making a mistake in the private sector,” the Romney son told a group of supporters about his father. “He was by no means perfect. He didn’t have a perfect record in the private sector.” Josh continued: “But if you think about the mistakes that my dad made, they were made on his own money, his own time. And if you look, if you think about President Obama and the mistakes he’s made, he’s making them with our money.”

Obama Campaign Keeps Faith in Ground Game, But Should They?

This topic has crept into many blog posts where the Obama campaign is spending inordinate amounts of money on field offices and staff across the Battleground states while the Romney campaign plans a better-funded but smaller footprint.  Conceptually I would normally side with the Obama campaign in this effort since the winner in the ground game (that is, getting out the vote) usually wins the election.  But I think the Obama campaign is too focused on the “finish” and not enough on the race in this regard. The Wall Street Journal has a brief article on exactly this risk:

Once again, the Obama high command is making a big bet on their ground operation. The aim is to flood the zone: open up offices in battleground states, call undecided voters, and swarm the shopping malls to register as many people as possible. In this way, Democrats hope to neutralize the Republican super PAC advantage by out-registering and out-working the GOP on the streets. “We believe we have an absolute advantage on the ground,’’ Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an interview.

Republicans undaunted

But Republicans believe the Obama ground game isn’t the fearsome force it used to be. They point to electoral setbacks that Democrats have endured in the years since team Obama built its grassroots network. Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, said the Wisconsin recall should have been an easy “layup’’ for Democrats given that the party had been busing in “every hippie liberal and union thug’’ to help oust Scott Walker, a Republican. Mr. Walker won handily. “What’s the proof they can mobilize?’’ Mr. Spicer said.

Voter Registration concerns

Voter-registration figures show some softness on the Democratic side, suggesting the Obama ground game has work to do. Third Way, a centrist think tank, has been studying registration trends in eight battleground states. The group released a report in May showing that since 2008, independent registration has been rising. Meantime, Republican registration has dropped by 157,000 in these states; Democratic registration by 841,000. Neither party’s brand has been faring all that well.

The Battle for Iowa

We have talked before how Iowa usually fades into the background of national politics following its disproportionate focus leading up to its first in the nation caucus. However, 2012 is a unique election in many regards and Iowa’s continued prominence remains top of mind with both campaigns.  Like many Battlegrounds, Iowa contains one of the central paradoxes of the campaign: while the national economy struggles, the Iowa economy is humming right along. Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at the unique story that is the Battle for Iowa this election  season:

This year, the place where the race for president began may decide how it ends. No matter what the scenario for winning the presidency, Iowa and its six electoral votes are central to the mix. Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are among the top media markets in the nation for presidential campaign advertising.

Iowa economy outpacing the nation

Unemployment in the state is 5.1 percent, well below the national average. New homes are springing up in the suburbs of Des Moines. The farm economy is booming, driven by strong commodity prices and exports – 1 in every 4 rows of soybeans is bound for China.

Tailoring a message

Romney’s solution has been to play to the frugal Midwesterners who populate the state. A campaign television ad released Friday vowed that on his first day as president he would attack the deficit “starting with $20 billion in savings.”

“By Day 100, President Romney is working toward a balanced budget, making sure the government lives within its means,” the ad continued. “President Romney’s first 100 days: For the people of Iowa, they mean fewer worries about their future and their children’s future.” That echoed the thrust of his speech in a May visit to Des Moines, when he invoked heartland imagery as he argued against leaving such a burden to future generations. “A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and across the nation, and every day we fail to act we feed that fire with our own lack of resolve,” Romney said. “… This is not just bad economics; this is morally wrong and we must stop it.” Political analysts say it is a smart argument. The state’s pay-as-you-go ethos is evident; Iowa’s residents carry the lowest average credit card debt of any state.

Continue reading

Battleground Counties: Henrico County, Virginia

One of our favorite topics gets more ink today in the Richmond Times-Dispatch–Battleground Counties.  Henrico County, Virginia was mentioned in our very first post on this subject and remains as vital as ever to securing victory in one of the most important states this election cycle:

Henrico County has emerged as a bellwether in a critical battleground state that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. In large part because of the county’s influence, the Richmond area is among the regions where the battle for Virginia’s 13 electoral votes is expected to be decided. Last week, the Richmond-Petersburg area was the top media market in the nation for advertising in the presidential election by the Obama and Romney campaigns and outside groups. In recent years, the former conservative stronghold of Henrico has shifted from a dark red to pure purple, reflecting the demographic and attitudinal shifts that have put Virginia at the center of the Obama-Romney battle…University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said that while Henrico won’t necessarily decide the election, it will undoubtedly serve as a barometer for the state. “If Obama carries Henrico again, it’s an indicator he’s probably winning the state,” Sabato said. “He can lose it, but not by much.”

A volatile voting county

When Henrico reversed course in 2008 and voted for Obama after decades of picking Republican presidential candidates, so did Virginia, marking the first time a Democratic presidential candidate won the state since President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The following year, the county swung back, backing Republican Bob McDonnell for governor. But Henrico’s political volatility goes back a bit further. In 2005, the year after the county helped keep President George W. Bush in the White House, the county voted to put Democrat Timothy M. Kaine in the Executive Mansion. In 2006, Henrico supported Republican George Allen in his ill-fated bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Two years later, the county not only helped elect Obama but also supported Democrat Mark R. Warner for the U.S. Senate.

Formerly predominantly white, now a suburban melting pot

  • Henrico is the sixth most-populous locality in the state
  • African-Americans now account for 30 percent of Henrico’s population, up from less than 25 percent in 2000
  • The Hispanic population has grown 152 percent since 2000 and now represents 5 percent of the county’s population
  • Henrico’s Asian population now tops 20,000 people and accounts for 6.5 percent of the population, compared with 3.6 percent in 2000
  • East vs West: While the western portion of the county’s population remains largely affluent, white and conservative, the eastern end, which has exploded in population, has become largely black and Democratic

Continue reading

Romney Victory Offices Update

Incumbent candidates always start out with a ground game advantage based on their ability to ramp up offices and volunteers while the opponent is still battling it out in the primary. While it is a nice advantage, it doesn’t by itself win an election. Among many examples, George Bush has an enormous organizational advantage over John Kerry but still only won by a couple percentage points. And John McCain secured the GOP nomination well in advance of Barack Obama who was battling with Hillary Clinton almost into the summer months, yet Obama meaningfully out organized the McCain campaign. This campaign season, in place of the typical campaign offices in a specific state, we are seeing the opening of Victory offices which are a joint operation of the Republican National Committee, the state Republican Party and the Romney campaign.

Despite media representations to the contrary, we are seeing Victory offices opening in Battleground states across the county. Even earlier this morning a Victory Office was opened in Urbandale, Iowa (11:30am – 1:00pm):

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Congressman Tom Latham invite you to attend the Grand Opening of the Victory Campaign Office. BBQ lunch and other treats provided.  Meet Congressman Latham in person.  RSVP to okelley@iowagop.org or just show up.

Earlier in the week, Pennsylvania‘s recent addition  to Mitt Romney’s Battleground radar got a boost with the opening of 7 Victory Offices:

“We currently have seven offices open across Pennsylvania and will continue ramping up our voter contact efforts aggressively,” Billy Pitman, Pennsylvania RNC Victory spokesman, said in a statement.  That contrasts with the 27 offices that the Barack Obama re-election campaign has scattered throughout the state, including a joint office with the Erie County Democratic Party in downtown Erie.

Finally, New Hampshire had some announcements a couple of days ago as well:

The Victory office in Bedford has a new communications director. Tommy Schultz, a Stanford University graduate, in 2010 worked on Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor of California and managed a Victory office in Tennessee. His most recent job was with CRC Public Relations of Virginia.