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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nuts and Bolts: Finance, Ground, Digital

Politico has good reporting on nuts and bolts of the campaign.

A previous post described victory committees.  Romney's reliance on this device comes at a cost:
To wit, Romney Victory revealed in a Monday report that it had transferred $44 million to the state parties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont and $12 million to the GOP’s national congressional committees — which can’t coordinate with Romney. While the expectation in Boston is that the state party committees will use the cash to fund get-out-the-vote activities in key swing states, the plan carries some risk, representing a sort of outsourcing of critical campaign activity that most campaign operatives prefer to control themselves.
Yet Romney is going to be forced to rely more on others down the stretch, since, at the end of September, the RNC and Romney Victory had $120 million in the bank compared with the Romney campaign’s $63 million.
Obama Victory, by contract, had transferred only $6.6 million to affiliated state parties — instead shipping most of its cash to Obama’s campaign committee. Partly as a result, it finished last month with $99 million in the bank compared with less than $50 million held by the DNC and Obama Victory 2012.
More on the ground game:
The Romney-RNC numbers by last Saturday are larger: 45 million voter contacts by last Saturday — up from the 24 million Bush-Cheney 2004 benchmark. They say they’ve knocked on 9 million doors — three times more than at the same point in 2008. But that total includes knocks that went unanswered, where volunteers left pamphlets for residents, which the Obama campaign doesn’t include in its totals.
There is a digital divide:
The Obama campaign has spent $47 million on online ads so far, compared to Romney's $4.7 million, according to election filings. The president’s mobile app lets volunteers get lists of homes in their neighborhood that need lawn signs and banners, while Romney’s provides press releases and upcoming events. The Obama camp consistently scores digital “firsts,” such as geotargeting direct messages via Twitter this week. Within minutes of Obama's "horses and bayonets" zinger at the last debate, the campaign had posted video of it on YouTube.
...

“There was no mention whatsoever of the debate for days on the homepage, which is shocking,” said Eric Frenchman, a key online consultant for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, after the debate in which Romney was said to have dominated. During the 2008 debates, the McCain campaign was blogging, creating ad spots and developed a microsite for Joe The Plumber overnight.
...
“They can’t believe that, but if they do we’re in so much more trouble than I thought,” said the online campaign director for a GOP Senate candidate in a swing state, who like many other Republican consultants declined to be quoted by name. “We have our own operation, but it’s a presidential year, so they’re supposed to light the way. It’s not a disaster, but it’s all so average and they’re going up against Mickey Mantle.”