Ohio’s Republican presidential primary was Super Tuesday’s highest-profile contest, but Ari Berman raised a largely-overlooked point about the results: “Obama got more votes in Ohio than Romney last night.”
That may seem hard to believe – leading Republicans campaigned aggressively in Ohio, and Mitt Romney spent $4 million to win the state, while President Obama didn’t try and wasn’t in a contested primary – but according to the data from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, that’s what happened. I put together this chart to show the state’s vote totals:
Of course, it’s not as if a half-million Democrats turned out yesterday just to support the unchallenged incumbent president; these were Democratic voters who turned out to vote in party primaries and down-ballot races. But the number of votes for Obama reminds me of a report Erin McPike ran on Monday: while the Republican nominating race slowly drags on, the president is putting together an impressive campaign organization.
You need not look further than this critical swing state to see just how badly Mitt Romney’s vaunted campaign organization lags behind President Obama’s.
Obama for America already has more than a dozen staffers in the Buckeye State, working seven days a week. There are nine offices scattered throughout Ohio where volunteers gather every day to contact voters – and Election Day is still eight months away. And what should send a chill down Romney’s spine is that the same thing is happening in every swing state. […]
The evidence was plain on Sunday, a blustery, snowy afternoon just 48 hours before Republicans go to the polls on Super Tuesday: About 15 volunteers gathered at the campaign’s Franklin County office here to phone former supporters they hope to recruit for the campaign’s 2012 network.
Since the president launched his re-election bid last April, his Ohio team has conducted 5,000 volunteer-led events, including house parties, phone-banking efforts and neighborhood canvassing. These events have now reached more than 650,000 Ohio voters, whether via phone, the front door or even one-on-one meetings, according to the campaign. The team is opening its 10th office – in Youngstown – on Thursday and plans to open several dozen more over the next few months.
In a practical sense, it doesn’t much matter that Obama won more primary votes yesterday than Romney, but it matters a great deal that while Romney spends millions to destroy his GOP rivals in states like Ohio, Obama’s team is in the same state building an infrastructure for the general election.