Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Getting out the vote

A report by Molly Ball in the Atlantic this morning assesses the tremendous difference between the ground organizations of the Obama and Romney campaigns. This reporter actually scouted out what was going on at the field offices of the two campaigns, finding that Romney's offices are mainly operated by the state Republican parties, and mostly focused on local candidates, while the Obama campaign offices are coordinated by the national campaign. But before even getting to that level, we find a huge quantitative disparity reflected in this chart showing the number of field offices operated by each campaign in several battleground states:


Clearly, the Obama get-out-the-vote effort is far superior, and that is probably going to make a big difference in a close election.

It's important to remember that the media in general have a vested interest in making the election seem even closer than it is, simply to sustain interest in their coverage. That is why they are focused on national polls, which show the election as a dead heat, and less focused on polls in the swing states, which show the Obama campaign with more of an advantage. That is why they are under-reporting the quality of the Obama ground game, and instead accepting the general bias in polls of so-called "likely voters," towards Republicans, because historically Republicans do tend to turn out in greater numbers than Democrats. But when Democrats are doing a better job in registering and turning out their supporters, the end result may not be quite as close as the polls are indicating.

And here's some more inspiration to vote:


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