In Ohio, another closely fought swing state, the Democratic state party employs nearly 300 people, more than the Republican National Committee in Washington, and almost four times as many as the Ohio GOP.
That gap in the candidates’ ground efforts is mirrored around the country as the presidential contest heads into its final weeks, with Democratic campaign workers outnumbering Republicans nearly three to one, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign spending reports.
The numbers reflect a fundamental difference in the way the rival campaigns are deploying resources as they battle to capture the presidency. Obama is spending earlier and investing more in his state campaign infrastructure, putting a bigger emphasis on person-to-person contact with potential voters.
Romney and Republicans are focusing more on advertising and stockpiling funds, anticipating a significant and growing money advantage in the fall. The GOP candidate and his allies — the party and independent groups — have $105 million more sitting in bank accounts than the Democrats. For the period after the conventions, they could easily outspend Democrats two to one, with most of it likely to go to more television ads.
“We’re a little wiser in our spending of dollars than the other side, apparently,” Romney told donors in Texas this week. “I’m not managing their campaign for them, but we’re going to spend our money wisely. We’re going to spend it to win.”
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina countered that the Republicans have “already missed a year of persuasion on the ground.”
“At some point, people are going to look to their friends and neighbors about what decision they’re going to make,” Messina said. “We think that’s going to be a big chunk of how we win this thing.”
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have transferred $50 million to swing states around the country to open field offices and hire campaign organizers, new spending reports show. That compares to $8 million Romney and the Republican National Committee have sent to state parties.
RNC officials said that staff numbers do not reflect their volunteer support, saying the party has made 12 million personal contacts with voters nationally and is on pace to surpass the voter-contact number of all previous Republican campaigns.
“The Obama campaign is quick to tout how many people they have on payroll, but they don’t seem to be doing anything,” said Rick Wiley, the RNC’s political director. “It is really expensive to put field staff and offices in there. I can only imagine how much money they’re burning through.”