My post yesterday bemoaning the apparent superiority of Team Obama’s ground game failed to mention at least one important consideration — groups like the Tea Party that will supplement the Romney ground game. One reader tells me:
I signed up, since I live in the red hills of Texas, to make calls in Virginia with the Election Day Tea Party. I got this information from Instapundit. They are also going to have folks travel in to walk doors and do voter registration drives. The Virginia action is focusing on us lonely folks in Texas and Tennessee who never get any presidential campaign action, since we are a sure thing. I also saw another post from Instapundit that conservatives in California, who have no hope, will work in Nevada. Clearly, folks in close states should stay at home, but your readers span the world, I’d wager, so it might be nice to let folks know there are other ways to help with these efforts.
Consider it done.
Out-of-state liberals too, of course, will be campaigning in swing states. In 2004, it seemed like half of the Washington D.C. lawyers I knew were traipsing off to Ohio to help John Kerry. But this year the enthusiasm gap clearly favors the Republicans, and there is nothing like the Tea Party on the Democratic side. (It’s difficult to imagine Occupy Wall Street folks (a) participating seriously in electoral politics and (b) establishing the kind of rapport with voters necessary to help get out the vote).
Unlike scruffy “occupiers,” the D.C. lawyers brigade was pretty effective on behalf of Kerry in 2004. One of my colleagues said that in the portion of Akron where he toiled for the Dems, voter turnout approached 90 percent. However, in general the Republican GOTV effort in Ohio reportedly was more effective because it relied less on outside lawyer types, and more on the friends and neighbors of voters. I recall that at the 2008 convention, the Republicans honored to Ohio Party leader who organized and oversaw the 2004 effort.
Campaign offices like the ones Team Obama is staffing in far greater numbers than Team Romney provide value in this regard because they can identify and assist local Party folk in their efforts to reach friends and neighbors. So it would be nice if the Republicans weren’t lagging. But I expect that local Tea Party organizations, with the help of out-of-state volunteers, will help considerably in overcoming this disadvantage.