If you’re a registered voter in Virginia and somebody from Mitt Romney’s campaign hasn’t personally chatted you up, you’re in a definite minority.
The Republican’s presidential campaign announced Tuesday that it had made personal contact with more than 4 million voters. This, in a state with about 5 million registered voters.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Rich Beeson, Romney’s political director, announced in a conference call with reporters that the campaign had surpassed the 4 millionth “voter contact.” By that, they meant real, live, person-to-person contact, made by knocking on doors or calling homes. Robo calls don’t count.
“It’s the earliest that any GOP campaign has ever hit that milestone,” Priebus said.
.President Obama’s ground game in Virginia was widely seen as superior to that of Arizona Sen. John McCain, his Republican opponent four years ago. So the GOP has put more focus on that this time around.
Romney’s campaign says it has made seven times as many phone calls and 11 times as many door knocks as McCain’s operation had at this point in the race four years ago.
Obama’s campaign keeps its “field metrics” to itself, so it’s unclear how Romney’s figures stack up against the president’s outreach efforts.
But Adam Hodge, a regional spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, questioned the validity of the GOP figures. He noted that the GOP recently cut ties to Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm it had hired to register voters in Virginia and several other states, over allegations of election fraud.
“Just a week after we learned that the company the Republicans had been paying to do voter contact in Virginia was under investigation for voter fraud, the Republicans are now bragging about their voter outreach statistics,” Hodge said via e-mail. “While Romney campaign has been paying political consultants to knock on doors and send out robocalls, Obama supporters have been working for more than three years to organize their neighborhoods, recruit new volunteers, and build the largest grassroots campaign in history.”