Despite Evidence, Dems and MSM Hype Obama Early Vote, Ground Game

Despite Evidence, Dems and MSM Hype Obama Early Vote, Ground Game

This week, mainstream media and liberal outlets — from the New York Times to Politico to the Huffington Post — have tried to build up their last firewall for the Obama campaign. The media is hyping the Obama campaign’s  indomitable ground game in swing states that will bank enough early votes for Obama to propel him to victory.

The Obama campaign cites the fact that it has more staff and money in the swing states as proof of its superior ground game. Early voting numbers from the battleground states indicate that money and staff have not been able to buy the Obama campaign the votes it needs for its early voting operation to be considered a credible firewall. 

This early vote firewall is the last thing the mainstream media and the Obama campaign have to try to ensure their supporters are not demoralized by the bad polling numbers, but in many of the most important swing states — like Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire — Republicans are over-performing compared to 2008 and Democrats are under performing.

Take Virginia, a state that is a microcosm of Obama’s coalition. In 2008, out-of-state transplants, minorities, affluent whites, and liberal women, and enthusiastic college students in Virginia’s many universities powered Obama to massive gains in Northern Virginia. In addition, blacks make up nearly one in five registered voters in Virginia and Obama received 92% of the black vote, as blacks made up 20% of electorate and turned out in record numbers in places like Hampton Roads and Richmond. 

But as Dave Wasserman, a political analyst at the non-partisan Cook Political Report noted, Virginia’s early vote totals released by the State Board of Elections on Tuesday, showed that the early vote total is up 18.8% in the 86 localities McCain won in 2008 and only up 4.4% in the 48 localities Obama won. 

When the numbers are broken down further, in-person early voting is up nearly 30% in localities McCain won in 2008 as compared to roughly 8% in localities Obama won. Similarly, mail-in absentee ballot voting is up nearly 13% in localities McCain won in 2008 while only up 2.5% in localities Obama won in 2008. 

And consider the localities that overwhelmingly went for Obama in 2008 — the early vote totals in the counties that most strongly supported Obama in 2008 are down considerably.   

In Richmond City, which Obama won 79% to 20% over McCain, the early vote is down roughly down 17%, with 7000 fewer people having voted compared to the same time in 2008. This may be a sign that enthusiasm for Obama among blacks is not as great as it was in 2008. 

In Arlington County, which Obama won 72% to 27% over McCain, the early vote is down by roughly 14%, as 2329 fewer people have voted compared to the same time 2008. This may be a sign that enthusiasm for Obama among affluent white liberals and college students may not be where it was in 2008. 

In Charlottesville City, home of the University of Virginia, which Obama won 78% to 20% over McCain, the early vote is down by roughly 10%: 201 fewer people have cast their ballot. This may be another sign that enthusiasm for Obama among college students is down. 

In Fairfax County, which Obama won 79% to 20% over McCain, early voting is down by roughly four percent, as 700 fewer people have voted. 

Adrian Gray, who directed George W. Bush’s 2004 voter contact operation, analyzed Ohio’s early vote returns in the state’s bellwether counties of Hamilton, Lake, Montgomery and Stark and he found that Obama was under performing in Ohio as well. He found that at this point in 2008, seven percent more Democrats than Republicans had voted. In 2012, one percent more Republicans have voted than Democrats in those same counties that decide Ohio’s elections. This is roughly an eight percent net gain for Republicans. Gray found similar trends in  states like Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. 

And in a memo, Republican National Committee political director Rick Wiley verified these observations, writing that “with less than two weeks until election day, the unprecedented GOP ground game is producing dramatic results in absentee balloting and early voting (AB/EV) that will give us a critical edge.”

Wiley wrote that if these trends hold, “it will be increasingly difficult for Democrats to cobble together the necessary votes” to win in these battleground states because “the data show the percentage of AB/EV activity from Republicans is greater than the percentage of registered voters which are Republican, indicating higher turnout rates among registered Republicans than among registered Democrats.”

Wiley also noted that in most cases Republicans make up a larger share of early voters than Democrats. 

Despite this date, the liberal Huffington Post, along with nearly every other liberal and mainstream media outlet, lionized Obama’s ground game, writing the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have infused state parties with so much cash, the parties have been able to hire staff and mount the resources necessary to serve as an essential firewall for the Obama campaign. 

The HuffPo notes that Democratic “swing state parties have raised $45 million more this year than they did over the same period of time in 2008, and have received $36 million more from the DNC” while “Republican swing state parties, on the other hand, have only received $14 million more in 2012 than in the previous election.”

They go on to say that Democratic state parties have 3,000 paid staffers while Republicans only have 601 and Democratic state parties in Ohio and Virginia have nearly double the resources as Republican state parties.

“These disparities exist in almost every key swing state,” writes the Huffpo, citing briefings by the Obama campaign’s field director and conference calls by Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in which he touted the campaign’s success in getting so-called “sporadic” or “low-propensity” voters to turn out for Obama. 

But when the spin is measured against the numbers on the ground, it does not add up. As Wiley, the RNC political director, again noted, Republicans are not just over-performing with our base, but “unaffiliated voters are breaking” for Republicans down the stretch. 

“While many of the Democrat ballots cast come from high propensity voters who would vote regardless, the Republican turnout operation has been focused on getting low propensity voters who would otherwise not vote to cast ballots early,” Wiley wrote. 

According to the RNC, Democrats, in states like Iowa, Ohio and Nevada in which they have more early votes, are “investing significant resources in turning out ‘high propensity voters’ – those who have voted in either 3 or 4 of the past 4 general elections.”

For instance, in Ohio, “there are 1,005,601 registered Democrats who fit this description” and “42.96% of them have already voted or requested a ballot” while there “1,311,198 registered Republicans” who fit the high-propensity definition and only  27.27% have voted or requested a ballot.

After Romney defeated Obama in the first debate, Obama’s poll numbers have faded, and the mainstream media has tried to construct all sorts of firewalls for the Obama campaign. First, the mainstream media claimed the Obama campaign had a firewall in the “new South” states like Virginia and North Carolina. When that crumbled, they claimed the campaign had a firewall in Midwestern states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin. When that came down, they said Obama had a firewall in mountain west states like Colorado and Nevada because of the Hispanic vote. And when Romney surged in both of those states, the mainstream media and the Obama campaign then tried to construct early vote and ground game firewalls. 

Republicans normally have a significant advantage on election day in states like Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, and Nevada, and the early voting date indicate that Democrats may not a strong enough firewall to offset Republican voters who traditionally show up on election day. 

Below are figures, per the RNC political director, describing how well Republicans are doing on the ground in battleground states and how Democrats are under performing in 2012 compared to 2008 in those same states. 

COLORADO

Republicans are leading Democrats in absentee ballot requests and early votes by over 10,000 voters.

Republicans are outperforming voter registration by 2.13 points.

Republicans won the first day of early voting in Colorado. In 2008, Republicans lost early voting by nearly 4 points.

Republicans have made 1.5 million volunteer voter contacts in Colorado since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

FLORIDA

Republicans are leading Democrats in absentee ballot requests by over 44,000 voters.

Republicans are outperforming voter registration by 5.6 points.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 5.01 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 3.78 points. The result is a net swing of 8.78 percentage points for Republicans.

Republicans have made over 5.7 million volunteer voter contacts in Florida since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

IOWA

At this point in 2008, Democrats led by almost 24 points in early voting. Today they lead by 8.3 points, a 65 percent collapse in Democrat support. 

Almost 5,000 fewer Democrats have voted early this year than had done so at this time in 2008.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 0.41 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 1.23 points. The result is a net swing of 1.65 percentage points for Republicans.

Republicans have made nearly 1.1 million volunteer voter contacts in Iowa since the AB/EV turnout program began in the state.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Republicans lead Democrats by over 5 points in absentee ballot requests in New Hampshire’s key towns.

Republicans are outperforming our voter registration in absentee requests by 4 points.

Republicans have made over 700,000 volunteer voter contacts in New Hampshire since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

NEVADA

Republicans are outperforming our voter registration in absentee requests and early votes by 4 points.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 2.11 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 2.30 points. The result is a net swing of 4.41 percentage points for Republicans.

In Clark County, Republicans have narrowed the gap with Democrats in early voting by 13.4 percentage points compared to the same point in 2008.

Republicans have seen 62% growth in early voter turnout compared to this point in 2008, while Democrats have only seen 14% growth.

Republicans have made over 1.3 million volunteer voter contacts in Nevada since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

OHIO

Republicans are outperforming the share of voter registration in absentee requests and early votes by 8.73 points.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 7.60 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 5.94 points. The result is a net swing of 13.54 percentage points for Republicans.

Republicans have closed the gap on Democrats’ historic absentee and early vote advantage for 15 of the past 16 days.

Republicans have made almost 3.7 million volunteer voter contacts in Ohio since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

PENNSYLVANIA

Republicans are leading Democrats by over 19,000 absentee requests.

Republicans are outperforming our share of voter registration in absentee requests by nearly 12 points.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 4.06 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 2.10 points. The result is a net swing of 6.16 percentage points for Republicans.

Republicans have made nearly 3 million volunteer voter contacts in Pennsylvania since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

VIRGINIA

AB/EV activity is down from 2008 in the Democrat counties of Alexandria (-10.12%), Arlington (-13.38%), Fairfax (-6.03%).

AB/EV activity is up in Republican-leaning Loudoun County (14.60%).

Republicans have made more than 2.7 million volunteer voter contacts in Virginia since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

WISCONSIN

AB/EV activity is down from 2008 the Democrat counties of La Crosse (-19.25%) and Rock (-6.41%)

AB/EV activity is up the Republican counties of Outagamie (12.06%) and Washington (26.14%).

On the first day of in-person absentee voting, the Republican bastion of Waukesha County out-voted Dane County, a liberal Democrat stronghold and home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, despite visits to Madison by high-profile Democrat surrogates and celebrities.

Republicans have made over 2 million volunteer voter contacts in Wisconsin since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

MICHIGAN

AB/EV activity is down from 2008 in Democrat-leaning Washtenaw County (-5.05%).

AB/EV activity is up in Republican-leaning Ottawa County (7.90%).

Republicans have made over 1.8 million voter contacts in Michigan since the RNC’s AB/EV turnout program began nationwide.

NORTH CAROLINA

Republicans are outperforming our voter registration in absentee requests and early votes by nearly 2 points.

Democrats are under performing their share of 2008 AB/EV votes cast by 3.31 percentage points, while the GOP is over-performing their share by 1.83 points. The result is a net swing of 5.14 percentage points for Republicans.

Republicans have narrowed the gap with Democrats in One-Stop early voting by 10.51 percentage points compared to the same point in 2008. Republicans have seen 59% growth in early voter turnout compared to 2008, while Democrats have grown by less than 20%.

Republicans have made nearly 2.2 million volunteer voter contacts in North Carolina since the AB/EV turnout program began in the state. 


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