The Obama campaign arm, Organizing for America, is telling voters in Pasco County, Florida that early voting starts today. Early voting in Florida doesn’t start until October 27th. The thousands of robo-calls and door-to-door outreach from the Obama campaign, however, have sparked a flood of inquiries to the county’s election office. Numerous voters have even showed up at the office, hoping to cast a ballot. Keep in mind, Pasco is a predominantly Republican county.
At first blush, it seems odd the Obama campaign would try to boost turnout in a county where John McCain defeated Obama four years ago. Of course, though, by relaying incorrect information about early voting, they are potentially lowering overall turnout in the GOP county. Voters who make the trek to the county’s election office will become frustrated that they have the wrong date. When the actual early voting date arrives, they will be less likely to believe it.
To be sure, this is a small-ball campaign trick. But it’s a clear indicator of the lengths to which the Obama campaign will go to eke out a win in the critical battleground state. Elections are won on the margins. Reducing the number of early voters by just a few hundred in a handful of counties may be the margin the campaign needs to win the state.
The games have begun.