BEACHWOOD, Ohio--The Obama campaign ground game and turnout strategy is discussed in a detailed memo campaign manager Jim Messina et al released on Saturday to show....they are in good shape going into the Tuesday election. No matter the outcome, the memo is a primer on how to organize.
Read entire memo below...
To: Interested Parties
From: Mitch Stewart, Jeremy Bird, Marlon Marshall
Re: Brick-By-Brick: Building a Ground Game for 270
This morning, as our volunteer Neighborhood Team Leaders opened 5,117 get-out-the-vote
(GOTV) staging locations in the battleground states that will decide this election, they began to
execute the final phase of a ground game unlike any American politics has ever seen. These
staging locations are even more localized versions of our field offices - set up in supporters'
homes, businesses or any area that can serve as a central hub for a team's GOTV activities in the
From these hyper-local Obama hubs, volunteers have signed up for 698,799 shifts to get out the
vote over the final four days of this campaign, a number that grows by the minute as organizers
continue assigning supporters who have expressed an interest in volunteering. These volunteerled GOTV staging locations embody what this campaign has been all about since we started organizing for change in 2007. The Neighborhood Team Leaders who are running our get-outthe-vote operation have been working in these neighborhoods for months, if not years.
Since we launched the re-election campaign in April 2011, those teams have been focused like a
laserbeam on three things: 1) expanding the electorate by registering new voters, 2) persuading
undecided voters, and then 3) turning out our supporters. On all three fronts, these volunteers
have blown away our most optimistic expectations.
REGISTERING NEW VOTERS
This cycle, our teams registered 1,792,261 voters in key battleground states - nearly double the
number of voters the Obama campaign registered in 2008.
These new voters are already voting in early vote states. In fact, 28 percent of them - 345,233 -
have already voted. In North Carolina, for example, 137,808 of the voters OFA-NC registered
have already voted in a state the President won by just 14,000 in 2008, and that will come down
to the wire again on Tuesday.
PERSUADING UNDECIDED VOTERS
Our neighborhood teams have had millions of conversations with persuadable voters. Each
battleground state has been running an aggressive and comprehensive organizing program
targeted toward undecided voters. The all-of-the-above organizing program included targeted
phone calls, door knocks, direct mail, individualized digital advertising, smart television
targeting, and an integrated digital follow-up program to undecided voters. At the start of GOTV
weekend, our volunteers have made 125,646,479 personal phone calls or door knocks - not counting robo calls on auto-dialers, mail, literature drops or any other non-volunteer, nonpersonal contacts.
Many field campaigns have historically favored quantity over quality; we do not. In each
conversation we have with a voter, our goal is to make a difference. These are not phone calls
made from a call center; they are done at the local level by our neighborhood team leaders,
members and volunteers, who are talking to people in their communities.
We have also instituted the largest and most sophisticated training program in political history.
Building on what we learned in 2008, we set up a national training team in Chicago more than a
year before the election, and then hired training directors in every battleground state to ensure
our staff and volunteers are trained to run a campaign worthy of the presidency. Over the past
two years we have held thousands upon thousands of local trainings throughout the country on
everything from the talking about the President's accomplishments and his plan for the next four
years to hosting phone banks and leadership development.
Our analytics team constantly evaluates our program so we can ensure these volunteers are
making a difference in the conversations they have with voters, especially after graduating from
our interactive trainings.
TURNING OUT SUPPORTERS
Finally, our teams have been focused on getting out the vote, a task that relies heavily on turning
out those voters who support us but are least likely to make it to the polls. It includes turning out
our newly registered voters, as well as getting "sporadic voters" to the polls - for example,
citizens who haven't voted in the last few elections. We know from the early vote numbers that
our teams are succeeding extraordinarily in this turnout effort:
Among non-midterm voters, Democratic turnout is outpacing the Republicans' turnout in
every single battleground state with party registration.
In Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, 1.4 million non-midterm
Democrats have voted already, compared with just 840,000 non-midterm Republicans.
And in Ohio, more than 179,000 non-midterm voters from counties Obama won in 2008
have cast ballots, compared with just 91,000 non-midterm voters from Republicanleaning counties. Ohio does not have party registration, so how a county voted in 2008 is
one way to measure this turnout.
Our get-out-the-vote effort - built over years and running at full speed today - is the reason
President Obama will be re-elected to a second term and continue to move the country forward,
create jobs and strengthen the middle class.
The math is clear: our opponent is losing among early voters in nearly every public poll in every
battleground state, meaning that if these public polls are right, he would have to win 65 percent
of the remaining votes in North Carolina, 59 percent in Iowa and Colorado, 58 percent in
Nevada, 55 percent in Florida and Ohio, and 52 percent in Virginia and Wisconsin.THE GROUND GAME
As our Neighborhood Team Leaders opened their staging locations this morning, they began
logging into our state-of-the-art reporting system, officially launching their GOTV hubs. Unlike
campaigns of the past, our volunteers are not driving to some large office miles from their homes
and handed a phone and a call sheet. Instead, Canvass Captains, Phone Bank Captains and scores
of local volunteers will be knocking on the doors of the very voters they registered, have been
talking to for months and know personally. And they will be directing them to polling locations
in their communities - the schools their kids go to, the places of worship they attend each week
and community centers they know well.
This is the difference between the Obama campaign and any other campaign we have ever
witnessed. Ours is a people-centered, data-driven campaign that has built small, manageable
neighborhood teams run by talented volunteers and supported by amazing field organizers who
know the exact number of votes they need to win in their precincts.
Our team has expanded the electorate, persuaded undecided voters and have identified enough
sporadic voting supporters to win every single battleground state. This weekend we start the
journey of turning out those voters and sending President Obama back to the White House.