Friday, August 12, 2016

A Tale of Two Ground Games

I recently ran across two stories about what things look like on the ground in Southwestern Ohio - a state where the RCP polling average gives Hillary Clinton a 2.6 lead over Donald Trump.

The first comes from a blogger at Daily Kos with the screen name mt41w. He attended the opening of a field office in "deeply red" Mason.
The fact that Hillary’s ground game is focused, extremely competent, hard-working and ready to GOTV was plain with the opening of the Mason, Ohio office on Wednesday evening August 10th. This was one of seven offices “opening for business” Wednesday in Ohio...

Anyhow, the house was literally standing-room-only. In the room where I stood and sweated — the A/C was overwhelmed — I counted 35 people, including the Channel 12 CBS Local News crew and cameraman. And I was in the smaller of six rooms in this converted house on Mason’s Main Street. I could see more people outside on the porch and sidewalk unwilling or unable to brave the crowded rooms, so I’d take a guess of perhaps 100-125 people in attendance...

The diversity as well as the size of the crowd was impressive. Lots of veterans of prior campaigns, and based on my chats, lots of newbies as well, the overriding theme being outright fear and rage at the danger Donnie presents to all of us.

Other take-aways:

* Everything is Organized (as I expect Hillary would want it to be) and clear!
* Enthusiasm is huge! The house wasn’t just full to over-capacity, it was rocking.
* Lots of encouragement and lots of posted advice on how to talk to people when phone-banking
* Mix of ages, backgrounds, genuine diversity — what makes the USA great.
Next comes a report from Jeremy Fugleberg about the Trump operation in Southwestern Ohio.
With the presidential election 90 days away, the Donald Trump campaign is scrambling to set up the basics of a campaign in Hamilton County, a key county in a swing state crucial to a Republican victory, a recent internal email obtained by The Enquirer shows.

The campaign has yet to find or appoint key local leaders or open a campaign office in the county and isn't yet sure which Hamilton County Republican party's central committee members are allied with the Republican presidential nominee.

"If they are against us, we just need to know," wrote Missy Mae Walters, Southwest Ohio regional coordinator for the campaign.

Even campaign materials, such as signs and stickers, aren't yet available.

"We have been promised they're on their way," she wrote.

The campaign plans to open 25 Trump "Victory Centers" statewide, she said, but a planned Monday opening of an office in Kenwood got held up waiting for a legal department sign-off.
It's hard to say whether this lack of organization is the result of incompetence or something else. Here is what Trump told Eric Bolling last night:
“I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” the Republican nominee concluded. “I think people that really want to vote, they’re gonna just get up and vote for Trump. And we’re going to make America great again.”
Now that the conventions are over, this campaign comes down to debates and ground game. With growing speculation about whether or not Trump will actually show up for the former, this is the state of affairs in the crucial swing-state of Ohio on the latter. I hope we'll see more reporting like this on the ground over the next few months. It tells an important tale that is missing from the focus on polling and big rallies.

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