Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Obama Has Nevada G-O-TEA Running Scared

Earlier today, Ralston highlighted on Twitter a National Journal article on OFA's field operation. Basically, President Obama is relying on a strong ground game to win both Nevada and the national election.

The Obama team’s mobilization strategy could pay dividends for Democrats down the ballot. In places like Columbus, Ohio; Orlando, Fla.; and St. Louis, Democratic strongholds in states that feature Senate contests, increased turnout will only help Democratic incumbents.

“The trend lines from 1992 to today [are] clear. When Bush ran and won in 2004, we spent a lot of time on persuasion in the suburbs. Bush didn’t. Bush simply went for his base and really got the most out of it,” said Tom Lindenfeld, a turnout specialist who worked Ohio for Kerry in 2004. “That’s the model for this year for both sides. This is not an election in which Obama needs to pull voters in who weren’t for him. This is where he’s trying to drive up the already-converted [turnout].” [...]

Not surprisingly, Obama’s campaign has spent heavily on the infrastructure required to boost turnout. Republicans have noted with barely concealed glee that Obama’s team has already blown through $172 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, with little to show for it—at least in terms of TV advertising or a polling bump.

Much of that money, though, has gone toward hiring staff and opening offices in key states. FEC records show the campaign employs nearly 600 staffers (at a cost of nearly $1.2 million in payroll taxes alone per month). And this week, at the same time as Romney’s campaign opened its first general-election office in Pennsylvania, Obama’s camp opened its 24th in the state. Press reports indicate Obama’s campaign has at least 15 field offices in Virginia and another 19 in Ohio.

Having staffers on the ground for a long period of time is a hallmark of the Obama campaign. During his 2008 primary battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s team routinely left staffers in states he had already won, theorizing that their relationships with the communities would come in handy in a general election. Those staffers were no small part of his wins in states like Indiana and North Carolina.

Remember when OFA opened their newest field office near MacDonald Highlands (and Joe Heck's McMansion in Roma Hills) early last month? This is why they did it. OFA and Nevada Democrats know that this election will be won in the field. As long as Democrats turn out in big numbers, Obama wins. And as long as those Democrats turn out and remember to vote all the way down the ballot, then Shelley Berkley, Steven Horsford, John Oceguera, and a number of Democrats in competitive Legislature races win as well.

So if you're wondering why both Dean Heller and Joe Heck are running away from the teabaggers who once unlocked their political careers, you now know why. Because Mitt Romney's future in Nevada is looking increasingly bleak (largely thanks to "The Ron Paul Revolution" happening within the Nevada Republican Party, as well as Romney's own pandering to the "TEA" tinged radical right), they may be sensing that their only hope left is in snatching "split ticket" independent voters and hoping that not all Democrats go all the way down the ballot.

Just notice the stark contrast between the two parties in terms of organization. While Democrats are again retooling and redeploying the "well oiled machine" that turned this state Blue, Republicans have descended into a "Lord of the Flies" type world of madness. Again, this is why Republican insiders are panicking... And now setting up a "shadow state party" to bypass their own homegrown activists in running the coordinated Republican campaign.

So now do you understand what I've been saying all along? While Nevada Democrats certainly can't afford to be smug in this kind of environment, Nevada Republicans can't afford to be all that confident at all. So now, top Nevada Republican elected officials are running as far away from their own party as possible. Between Romney's disingenous "tea party" pandering and Ron Paul supporters continually taunting Romney within the party, Dean Heller, Joe Heck, and other electeds know their fate may ultimately lie in the kind of success President Obama's campaign reaps in this state.

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