Obama's 'Ground Game' is to Marvel At

American Thinker Political Correspondent Rich Baehr sent along a blog post from the site "538" and my jaw nearly hit the floor.

To date, the largest and most successful "ground game" in the history of electoral politics was the Bush-Rove operation in 2004. Nearly 3 million volunteers along with hundreds of paid staffers were responsible for Bush's victory.

What is a "ground game?" It is organizing at the lowest level possible - ideally at the precinct level - so that you can identify your supporters and potential supporters and on election day, get them to the polls. It takes motivated volunteers to carry through with their assignments as well as a huge database to keep track of it all.

Well,
according to 538, the ground game that Obama is mounting will make the Bush-Rove efforts look like amatuer hour:


Amid on the ground reports that McCain is outspending Obama on the air at least 2-1 in places like Missouri, we learn that Obama's team is betting on a different strategy - overwhelming ground organization early and often.

In Missouri, Obama
will have 150 paid organizers and maintain a 12-1 paid organizer edge in my native state. Show-me, indeed. In Michigan, Obama will put an unprecedented 150 field organizers on the ground. In Ohio, why not go for 300 field organizers? That sounds like a nice, absurdly large, round number.

This is the campaign equivalent of invasion with overwhelming force. In the coming days, we should be hearing more reports like these from other battlegrounds (here's
Iowa, for example), giving us a clearer and clearer picture of each campaign's voter contact strategy. Already, however, Marc Ambinder has pointed out that:

The polls don't account for the force multiplier effect that Obama's campaign will almost certainly bring to bear with its millions of volunteers and thousands of paid staffers. Whether that effect is 1.01, 1.05 or even 1.3 -- we don't know yet. But even the McCain campaign acknowledges its existence.

Those paid organizers are each recruiting underneath them volunteers and precinct captains (themselves responsible for recruitment and management of volunteers). As I've said before, it's a pyramid scheme aimed at massive voter-to-voter contact. Millions and millions and millions of voter contacts, all knocked out 5, 10, 50 at a time by volunteers. The info gleaned from the contacts is re-looped into the voter file, and repeat contacts are thereby more informed (undecideds can be persuaded; supporters can be urged to early vote; banked early votes allow campaigns to use resources more efficiently in the closing days, etc.). The principle is: voters persuade other voters more personally and powerfully than a 30-second TV ad. Ads give impressions; real people close the sale.

Here's the catch; you can have a ground game like this and still lose if you've got a lousy candidate. And as long as Obama continues his flip flopping and gaffes, McCain will remain competitive.

And don't forget McCain will also have an excellent ground game as well, just not as extravagantly extensive as Obama's. Thanks to the Republican National Committee being able to outraise the DNC by a substantial margin, the national GOP will have plenty of cash to develop their own infrastructure.

Most elections come down to which side is able to get their supporters to the polls. The Republicans have done very well in recent elections. But it appears that both sides will be pulling out all the stops to get out the vote this November.
American Thinker Political Correspondent Rich Baehr sent along a blog post from the site "538" and my jaw nearly hit the floor.

To date, the largest and most successful "ground game" in the history of electoral politics was the Bush-Rove operation in 2004. Nearly 3 million volunteers along with hundreds of paid staffers were responsible for Bush's victory.

What is a "ground game?" It is organizing at the lowest level possible - ideally at the precinct level - so that you can identify your supporters and potential supporters and on election day, get them to the polls. It takes motivated volunteers to carry through with their assignments as well as a huge database to keep track of it all.

Well,
according to 538, the ground game that Obama is mounting will make the Bush-Rove efforts look like amatuer hour:


Amid on the ground reports that McCain is outspending Obama on the air at least 2-1 in places like Missouri, we learn that Obama's team is betting on a different strategy - overwhelming ground organization early and often.

In Missouri, Obama
will have 150 paid organizers and maintain a 12-1 paid organizer edge in my native state. Show-me, indeed. In Michigan, Obama will put an unprecedented 150 field organizers on the ground. In Ohio, why not go for 300 field organizers? That sounds like a nice, absurdly large, round number.

This is the campaign equivalent of invasion with overwhelming force. In the coming days, we should be hearing more reports like these from other battlegrounds (here's
Iowa, for example), giving us a clearer and clearer picture of each campaign's voter contact strategy. Already, however, Marc Ambinder has pointed out that:

The polls don't account for the force multiplier effect that Obama's campaign will almost certainly bring to bear with its millions of volunteers and thousands of paid staffers. Whether that effect is 1.01, 1.05 or even 1.3 -- we don't know yet. But even the McCain campaign acknowledges its existence.

Those paid organizers are each recruiting underneath them volunteers and precinct captains (themselves responsible for recruitment and management of volunteers). As I've said before, it's a pyramid scheme aimed at massive voter-to-voter contact. Millions and millions and millions of voter contacts, all knocked out 5, 10, 50 at a time by volunteers. The info gleaned from the contacts is re-looped into the voter file, and repeat contacts are thereby more informed (undecideds can be persuaded; supporters can be urged to early vote; banked early votes allow campaigns to use resources more efficiently in the closing days, etc.). The principle is: voters persuade other voters more personally and powerfully than a 30-second TV ad. Ads give impressions; real people close the sale.

Here's the catch; you can have a ground game like this and still lose if you've got a lousy candidate. And as long as Obama continues his flip flopping and gaffes, McCain will remain competitive.

And don't forget McCain will also have an excellent ground game as well, just not as extravagantly extensive as Obama's. Thanks to the Republican National Committee being able to outraise the DNC by a substantial margin, the national GOP will have plenty of cash to develop their own infrastructure.

Most elections come down to which side is able to get their supporters to the polls. The Republicans have done very well in recent elections. But it appears that both sides will be pulling out all the stops to get out the vote this November.