Typically, following the Presidential debate period, both campaigns launch a fierce effort to rally supporters and get out the vote. They barnstorm the country while staff and volunteers launch the final get out the vote efforts.
We are currently seeing two very different approaches to the post-debate push from the two Presidential campaigns – Obama has a much stronger opening to the two week push.
First, on activity, Obama continues to do many more events than Romney. Team Obama is using campaign events to great effect to push early vote. Survey after survey shows that Team Obama is dominating the early returns, typically showing a two to one voter advantage.
And the voters Obama is turning out include the vital “sporadic voters” that do not regularly vote in presidential or congressional elections. Adding sporadic voters to your tally is critical to maximizing vote totals for a campaign.
Obama is currently on a two day, eight state campaign blitz that the campaign is leveraging into national news as well.
The Obama campaign has the organizing advantage as well. They have more staff, more offices, more volunteers and a more sophisticated voter contact and turnout operation than the Romney campaign which has outsourced the entire effort to the RNC, state parties and Super PACs.
The advantage on turn out efforts is, without question, clearly in favor of the president.
The Romney campaign’s biggest accomplishment this week seems to have been coordinating audience member tee shirts at an event to look like the Colorado flag.
This morning, Romney dodged questions about Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about rape, pregnancy and God’s intent.
Romney is in a particularly indefensible position to refuse comment because Mourdock is the only Senate candidate Mitt Romney has done an endorsement ad for.
If the only candidate you have done an ad for says something that is both controversial and nuts and you refuse to comment then all the stories about your campaign are going to be about how you refuse to answer questions.
Mitt Romney is losing precious opportunities in Ohio – the state that is key to any chance he has at winning on November 6. Without Ohio, Romney has no viable path to the Electoral College.
Conversely, Obama allowed NBC News access to his 48 hour marathon trip and is getting lots of precious free air time for that and his appearance on the Tonight Show where he was asked about what Richard Mourdock said and delivered a strong response.
Friday, Obama will answer questions from young voters on MTV and he held a conference call with more than 9000 undecided voters in swing states on Wednesday.
One other tactical advantage President Obama has is his plan. It is the centerpiece of the Obama/Biden final push. The campaign printed 3.5 million copies of the 20-page outline of the case for Obama’s reelection.
Part of that printing was mailed to targeted undecided voters in swing states. More of them are available in the many offices the campaign has and will be used by the massive ground force of the campaign.
Obama holds up a copy of his “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security” at every event for audience members and the media to see. It is a part of every local newscast, newspaper or online story.
The campaign also released an extended ad where Obama talks about his plan. It is augmented by a Bill Clinton ad, offering testimonial for Obama’s economic plan and the criticism Bill Clinton faced for enacting a similar plan in the 1993. There is also an ad reminding voters of the 2000 Recount and what could have been if not for George W. Bush.
Today’s news cycle shows that Obama’s plan and execution are working and that he has a map that still works in his favor while Mitt Romney is bogged down by paralysis on Richard Mourdock and his tactical decision to stand by Richard Mourdock is hurting Romney in the neighboring state of Ohio.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.