Team Obama touts hyper-local ground game
November 3rd, 2012
06:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Team Obama touts hyper-local ground game

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's campaign touted an intensely focused ground game going into election week on Saturday, citing their robust voter contact efforts as a reason the president will prevail against his rival Mitt Romney.

Campaign manager Jim Messina and national field director Jeremy Bird said their system incorporating neighborhood "hubs" where volunteers can register and help turn out voters had produced sizable results going into Tuesday's vote.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"Our neighborhood teams have had millions of conversations with persuadable voters," Bird said on a conference call Saturday, echoing a memo Obama's team released detailing the battle plan headed into next week.

"Each battleground state has been running an aggressive and comprehensive organizing program targeted toward undecided, persuadable voters," Bird said, describing an "all-of-the-above organizing program" that includes supporters making phone calls and knocking on doors of people in their own neighborhoods.

Bird said the Obama campaign has made 125 million of those personal contacts, though he didn't specify how long it took to reach that number.

"Many field campaigns have historically favored quantity over quality; we do not," Bird said. "In each conversation we have with a voter, our goal is to make a difference. These are not phone calls made from a call center; they are done at the local level by our neighborhood team leaders, members and volunteers, who are talking to people in their communities."

Comparatively, Romney's campaign has reached 50 million voters since the spring, according to a memo distributed to top Republican leaders and surrogates obtained by CNN.

The Romney memo trumpets the "best GOTV [get-out-the-vote] programs" that states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa have ever seen, saying GOP volunteers there are contacting millions of voters per week.

In the closing days of the campaign, however, Republicans don't seem poised to match the Democrats' voter contact effort – the memo says that the Romney team will reach 6 million voter contacts during the final four days of the campaign, not coming close to the 125 million total touted by Obama's team.

A Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll between October 29-November 1 showed similar voter contact rates for the two candidates, however: 29% of likely voters nationwide said they'd been reached by Obama's campaign, and 27% said they were contacted by Romney's team. The poll was of voters nationwide, however, and didn't gauge voter contact in battleground states.

Responding to the Obama campaign's numbers boast, Romney political director Rich Beeson said the figures were simply a mask for a bad candidate.

"If the Obama campaign spent half the time trying to get people back to work as they do spinning reporters on why they're going to win this election, the unemployment rate might not have gone up," he wrote. "That said, it doesn't matter how many offices you have, staff you hire, or ground game plans you have – you need a candidate who can tell the American people why things will be better, not worse, after four years of their leadership."

Republicans also point to the Obama campaign surrogates headed to states where the race has recently tightened, despite once seeming a lock for the incumbent Democrats. Those states include Pennsylvania, where Bill Clinton will campaign this week, and Wisconsin, where Obama himself held a rally Saturday.

Messina said the Obama campaign was "not going to take anything for granted anywhere" in the final days of the campaign, including in Wisconsin.

"You go as hard as you can until the end. That's what we're going to do until the very end," Messina said.

CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. bill pike

    I hope every vet votes for Romney after you did not even try to save our troops and then a cover up worse than watergate. this is shameful but the CIA can't be blamed now. Lets see–Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake. Nothing changes.

    November 3, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F

    We are now two days away from the demise of the republican party. I have to give them credit for almost destroying our country and then making a pact not to help our president get out of the Bush/republican near depression. The GOP is just another wooly mammoth that has lost its way. Sadly, they will not be missed.

    November 3, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    God bless USA and Obama12.

    November 3, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. kr0636

    I don't think that Obama will get a second term. His campaign team lacks the sophistication and aggressiveness of his 2008 team that swept him into the presidency. His campaign team is just plain flat. There is little creativity in his campaign; just imagine his dismal showing in the first debate. He has lost his mojo with the women because he showed no appreciation for their support. Gone is his "I love you back" slogan. If only he had told these women that "I want you back", he would have had a clear sailing to a second term.

    November 3, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. skepticone

    knocking on doors in VA today! great response, turn out the vote!

    November 3, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. USMCvet

    I am a white, male Middle-aged. Christian. Republican. 3rd generation US Marine. In a swing state. Voting for Obama..

    November 3, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Bye Bye Mitt Witt

    I see the tears forming in Mitts eyes these last days. All those days away from the wives and nothing to show for it.

    November 3, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Bomb threats at voter stations in FL, power outages at voting sites in Ohio. Sure sounds like republican shenanigans again to me. Oh, and there is also this:

    Mitt and Ann Romney were notified today that they have been charged of ethics violations.

    Remember... this is not a criminal (jail) or civil (probably settlement) charge. It is ethical, which at minimum would discredit his corporations (he'd then dissolve them) and probably end in a fine or settlement which would only be a fraction of the actual profit. Depending on how this shook out, criminal charges of fraud (based on the viability of the company vs the 12.9b payout) might follow. That would mean jail. If he were president, he would prob be impeached and removed from office giving us President Ryan.

    November 3, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. GW

    Obama 2012
    Obama 2016
    Obama forever

    November 3, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. florida815

    Voted for Obama/Biden today. Waited an unbelievable 3 hours to vote early! One vote down (Obama in), and one to go (Gov. Scott out).

    Florida for Obama/Biden TUESDAY!

    November 3, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. Evangel

    Being a Republican and a Evangelical, I,m sorry to say I can not vote for President this election. I do not want to vote outside my party but do to my religious faith I can not vote for a Bishop in a Cult that believes Jesus was a regular man and that we will all becomes Gods some day. I was taught by my pastor at an early age that if you empower a cult leader you give them control over your faith. I can not risk my soul for one election.

    November 4, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  12. sayer

    Our ground game in Colorado is 2nd to none! The repubs are gonna lose because those snobs won't leave their ivory towers and talk to real people in middle class neighborhoods. They would rather do it over the phone...

    November 4, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  13. Thomas

    4 voters trusted Obama in Benghazi, Obama turned his back on them then went to bed. Now Obama is again in Vegas after a photo op in new jersey.
    They were dedicated state department officials who take great pride in there service , they are profesonals . And they know that risks are part of there job . The CIA report last week dismissed the Romney allegation as false..
    You could use your same analogy in regards to GW Bush reading Bedtime for Bonzo to children down in FLA on 911. Those voters in the twin towers trusted GW Bush and National security adviser Coni Rice .

    We lost four brave Americans overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi and transforming Libya without ocupation .

    How many Americans lost there lives do to WMDs that were never found in Iraq ?

    Romney = GW Bush

    November 4, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  14. smirth

    Obama 4more years

    November 4, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |