Ground Game Update
FROM: RNC Political Director Rick Wiley
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Ground Game Update
As we head into the final six weeks of this historic election, I wanted to lay out the numbers the RNC and Romney campaign ground game has posted in battleground states. Our operation is conducting the hard work, which will make the difference on Election Day and elect Mitt Romney as the 45th President of the United States.
So what is it we’re doing?
THE GROUND GAME, IN FOUR STAGES
Up to this point, our operation has focused primarily on the first GOTV stage: Voter Identification. In that process, we’ve identified more than 2.2 million swing voters since the start of the Victory voter contact program.
Swing voters are those we know are likely to vote based on their turnout records in previous elections. But they have not made up their minds on how to vote in this race, and they remain highly persuadable.
We continue to identify more swing voters, but now we are also able to do something of great significance: go back and deliver an advocacy message to those we have already located, tailored for specific issues and demographics. This is a process that continues through Election Day.
Voter identification also includes robust outreach programs in Hispanic communities across the battleground states. The Juntos con Romney coalition has spent months directly connecting with the Latino community through local events, neighborhood offices, and bilingual voter contacts.
We have also moved into the second stage of our operation: Absentee Balloting. And with more states beginning early voting, we are ramping up the third stage, Early Voting Turnout, sooner than in years past.
More Americans are expected to cast their votes early this year than in any previous election. Our ground game has been designed with this new reality in mind.
The fourth and final stage of our operation is of course Election Day Turnout. We have seen unprecedented volunteer enthusiasm and participation so far; and we expect to leverage significant momentum in those critical final days.
A RECORD-BREAKING OPERATION
By any and every measure, this year’s ground game is significantly moving the needle on the ground.
Overall, we have made more than 26 million voter contacts, thanks to the efforts of our 73,000 volunteers. This week, we expect to make our 30 millionth voter contact. By mid-September, we had already surpassed the 2008 operation in total volunteer voter contacts.
We’ve knocked on nearly 2 million more doors than in all of 2008, and we’ve made six times more phone calls than at this point four years ago. (See below for a state-by-state breakdown of the numbers.)
In addition to our volunteer voter contact program, direct voter contact through an aggressive absentee ballot, persuasion, early vote and GOTV mail and phone program in our battleground states will ensure targeted voters are contacted dozens of times through our paid effort. This coupled with our unprecedented volunteer voter contact effort adds up to the largest, most sophisticated turnout program ever put on the field in Republican politics.
As the party challenging an incumbent president, we had to build the national operation largely from scratch to remain competitive with a president who has effectively been running for reelection for the last four years. We have succeeded in that challenge, which is a testament to the enthusiasm on our side.
VOLUNTEERS: THE KEY COMPONENT
A successful ground game requires many components. Careful long-term planning must precede methodical execution. Successful fundraising is necessary to build the Victory infrastructure, and as the latest numbers show, the RNC has been shattering fundraising records. But the final component is volunteers. They man the phones, knock on the doors, place the signs and recruit their friends and neighbors.
Our volunteers aren’t in it for themselves, or even for our party. They come to the Victory Offices and give up their Saturdays for one reason: they know we need a new direction in this country for the sake of the next generation. They know we need the leadership of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
That, more than anything, will power this ground game to Victory on November 6th.
State-by-State Battleground Comparison to ’08
• Florida: 10 times more phone calls and 67 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• North Carolina: 13 times more phone calls and 130 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Ohio: 4 times more phone calls and 30 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Virginia: 11 times more phone calls and 12 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Colorado: 3 times more phone calls and 5 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Iowa: 5 times more phone calls and 16 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• New Hampshire: 3 times more phone calls and 8 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Nevada: 4 times more phone calls and 10 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Michigan: 4 times more phone calls and 18 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• New Mexico: 3 times more phone calls than this time in ’08.
• Pennsylvania: 6 times more phone calls and 44 times more door knocks than this time in ’08.
• Wisconsin: 5 times more phone calls and 66 times more door knocks than this time in ’08