Time marches on, and with just 11 days left until Election Day, Obama for America Senior Advisor Aaron Pickrell and National Field Director Jeremy Bird told reporters on a conference call Friday that early voting statistics from Ohio look really good.
Real numbers from raw data
Pickrell and Bird discussed data on recent voter registration totals as they highlighted the Obama campaign’s historic grassroots organization efforts to win a state Mitt Romney cannot afford to lose, because it forces a tough electoral college map math problem than can only be solved if the Republican ticket wins many of the remaining key battleground states that it is at best tied in and at worst is behind in by a margin of three percent in most polls, but five percent in all-important Ohio.
The third week of early voting in Ohio, which started on Oct. 2, is coming to an end, and the duo said Democrats continuing their advantage in numbers of ballots casts, building upon the strong success during the voter registration period and past success from early voting in 2008.
Organizing for America, President Obama’s reelection campaign, has been on the ground in Ohio since 2009. As Bird said, we never really left after the 2008 election. Over the years, the officials said the result of their efforts has been to build the largest grassroots campaign in history. “Across the state, volunteers and supporters are talking to their neighbors and members of their local communities about President Obama’s specific, achievable goals to help Ohio families, strengthen the middle class, and move America forward,” the two said in prepared remarks following the call.
Early voting, they said, has always been a top priority for our grassroots organization in Ohio, and it’s now paying off in major ways. Before the first day of early voting, hundreds of students camped out at The Ohio State University in Columbus, in Cincinnati, Dayton and elsewhere, braving bad weather to be the first at the polls at 5:00 a.m. On that first day, more Ohioans voted in the largest counties—all counties the President won in 2008—than did on the first day of early voting four years ago.
And it hasn’t let up since, they crowed. “We’ve seen groups as big as 100 voters strong going together to vote in Athens, student marching bands leading people to the polls in Cincinnati, and neighbors driving their neighbors through Bowling Green in golf carts to get to and from the polls,” they said, adding that this week in Toledo, nearly 100 workers came together across the street from an early voting site to celebrate extended voting hours. These are all signs, they said, of a state excited to vote for President Obama and a measure of our strong grassroots foundation.
Telling reporters they were using “real numbers from raw data,” they argued that the way to gauge success in Ohio, where voters don’t register with a party affiliation, is by looking at how individual counties and precincts voted in 2008—”and those numbers look really good.”
- Counties and precincts that Obama won in 2008 are voting early at a higher rate than counties that voted Republican four years ago.
- In counties that Obama won in 2008, 12 percent of registered voters have already cast their ballots, versus only 9 percent in Republican counties.
- Voters in precincts that voted for Obama in 2008 have cast more than half (53 percent) of the 2012 ballots.
- Voters in precincts that voted for Obama in 2008 have cast 53,400 more ballots this year than those in precincts that voted Republican in 2008. At this point four years ago, our lead comparing these same precincts was just 30,000 ballots.
President Obama leads Mitt Romney by double-digits in every public poll of early voters, they noted, pointing to a new Time poll that shows the President up 60-30 overall, with big leads among women and voters younger than 40.
“We’re also encouraged by the enthusiasm among Ohio voters who didn’t vote in the midterm election and who matter most in a get-out-the-vote effort,” Bird said. Non-midterm voters who live in precincts that voted for Obama in 2008 have cast 52 percent more ballots compared with non-midterm voters in Republican precincts.
Part of their mission today was to deflate the message Republicans are trying to talk up about how good their ground game is. Their math here, they said, “is just as questionable as Mitt Romney’s tax plan that doesn’t add up, his jobs plan that doesn’t create jobs, and his deficit plan that doesn’t reduce the deficit.”
They said that when the Romney campaign boasts that Republicans are out-performing their voter registration, they forget to tell you that Ohio doesn’t have party registration—state officials simply identify you by the party in whose primary you most recently voted. And because Republicans had a competitive primary this year and Democrats did not, Republicans naturally have a 460,000-person edge this year among past primary voters—a factoid they argue Romney’s campaign is “disingenuously referring to as ‘registered Republicans.'”
“But as you can see in the numbers … Democratic primary voters are outvoting Republican primary voters by a wide margin across the state anyway,” Pickrell said. He added, “We’re more than happy to put our numbers against theirs any day of the week. And since every day is Election Day in Ohio, we can.”
Candidates crisscross Ohio
Barack Obama became the first sitting president to vote early in-person Thursday in his hometown, Chicago. The president finished his 48 hour tour in the crucial battleground state of Ohio with a rally in Cleveland that attracted 12,000 fans.
On Saturday, the first day of his 400-mile bus tour across the Buckeye State, Paul Ryan will attend a Victory event at Gradall Industries in New Philadelphia, Ohio and a Victory rally at Zanesville High School in Zanesville, Ohio. He will then drop by Lindsey’s Bakery in Circleville, Ohio and Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio, followed by a Victory event at East Clinton High School in Sabina, Ohio.
Yesterday, Governor Romney held three campaign rallies starting in Cincinnati, then moving to Columbus and ending in Defiance in northwestern Ohio before a crowd of 12,000 fired up supporters. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will campaign here in Ohio together and attend a Friday Night Victory Rally at North Canton Hoover High School.
President Obama will campaign in Colorado, Wisconsin and Ohio next week. On Tuesday, October 30, the President will travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado and Green Bay, Wisconsin for grassroots events. He will then travel to Ohio Tuesday night where he will stay overnight. On Wednesday, October 31, the President will deliver remarks at grassroots events in Cincinnati and Akron, Ohio.
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