Romney Team Talks Online Dominance: 'This Campaign Became a Cause'
“Yesterday, this campaign became a cause.” That’s how Zac Moffatt, Digital Director for the Romney campaign, summed up June 28th, a day that saw Obamacare affirmed as the single largest middle class tax increase in the history of the country.
Team Romney pulled in $4.6 million in a 24-hour period with an average donation of under $100; 33% of donations were under $25. Over 200 thousand unique visitors hit the Romney campaign site, with one in four making a donation.
“The Obama campaign brags about their 27 million Facebook followers, which they’ve been building for over six years,” Moffat said. Coming out of a contentious primary, Romney had only 2.1 million Facebook followers. “But even with those odds against us, we saw 494 thousand Facebook engagements in the past 24 hours and Obama only had 464 thousand.”
“We saw a lightning bolt of intensity,” said Lenny Alcivar, the campaign’s Online Rapid Response Director. “In one day we beat the Obama campaign’s almost mythic online team with the power of the center right in America.”
According to the Romney campaign’s digital team, the overwhelming response came right after Gov. Romney’s remarks vowing to repeal Obamacare on day one of his presidency.
“Right after Mitt's speech, the torrent opened up," Moffatt confirmed. "Our Twitter hashtag, #FullRepeal, trended worldwide in 20 minutes and maintained as a trending topic all day.” By comparison, the Obama hashtag affirming support for Obamacare only trended for a couple hours and then disappeared from the online conversation.
Moffat said, “Yesterday was not about us, it was about the conservative movement. When Mitt spoke, his words merely crystallized that movement.”
When asked to respond to criticism of Gov. Romney’s messaging yesterday, Alcivar was quick to focus on Obama:
[S]ome folks may have wanted the governor to criticize the Supreme Court; we're not going to do that. There is no difference between Mitt’s message before or after the ruling. What changed is the intensity behind the message. We don't plan to deviate from the “repeal and replace” message.
The President essentially misled the Supreme Court. They are on the defensive for not calling this a tax, so the onus is on the president.
When reminded that President Obama emphasized Thursday that Romney had backed an individual mandate in Massachusetts, Alcivar maintained that it is the President who is on the defensive:
Our message has not changed. What works for states is not applicable to the federal government. The President trying to seize that message and getting the mainstream media to harp on that puts him in a tough position. He needs to obfuscate. [Obama Campaign Deputy Campaign Manager] Stephanie Cutter did a video today saying Obamacare is NOT a tax. It is up to the President to defend his signature achievement. We won't take the bait.
Moffat summed up the Romney campaign’s digital strategy with the kind of salty language common in conservative Twitter conversations: “We kicked the Democrats' ass in 2010 on line and we are continuing that success in 2012. The Obama online effort is a paper tiger and we showed that yesterday.”