Volunteers For Obama And Romney Blanket Ohio To Win

asdfads(Photo: Debbie Holmes, WOSU News)
asdfads(Photo: Debbie Holmes, WOSU News)

This year’s presidential campaign once again could hinge on what happens in Ohio. That’s why organizers for both Democrats and Republicans are spending a lot of time and money in the Buckeye state.

“Okay if the election were held today, you’d be for Romney, okay great.”

Roberta Lehman was volunteering at the Columbus Romney headquarters… calling voters to try to persuade them to choose her candidate in the fall. Lehman says she doesn’t like where the country stands today economically.

“I just really believe we need a change. We don’t think the change was working with the current president and I’m just really happy to work for Mitt Romney and just hope we can get him elected,” says Lehman.

Lehman is one of many Romney supporters across the state making their case to voters.

Ohio Republican Party director Matt Borges says there’s a lot of work to be done as the election nears.

“We have a fired up electorate, folks in our party that we know are excited about our tickets and our candidates. And so since we know they’re going to be participating in the process this year our job is to make sure they get to the polls and pull the right lever,” says Borges.

Borges says volunteers have made more than one million phone calls and knocked on thousands of doors.

“I volunteer with President Obama’s re-election campaign. How are you this morning?”

Volunteers at the Obama re-election campaign field office in Hilliard call registered voters. 71 year old Connie Emmons is one of the workers. She says the response she gets is about 50-50.

“They were going to think about going for early voting but they definitely were going to vote. He and his wife were going to vote for Obama,” says Emmons.

Obama neighborhood team leader, Judy Kamalay says enthusiasm is high at the field offices.

“It’s like a merry-go-round. People are coming in and out all the time. It’s almost hard to count. We don’t have a strip at the front door to really keep track of that many. But hundreds and hundreds,” says Kamalay.

The Obama campaign appears to have the larger organization in Ohio. The president’s campaign says it will have 100 field offices across the state by the end of the week.

The Romney campaign will have only 35.

Bowling Green State University political professor, Melissa Miller says a ground game can make the difference.

“That’s a big advantage for the Obama campaign, that they seem to be better organized on the ground in Ohio already, and that’s a gap that the Romney campaign really needs to work on with about 40 more field offices around Ohio,” says Miller.

Four years ago Obama’s organization far surpassed John McCain’s, and Obama won by 5 points.. … 8 years ago the Republican get-out-the-conservative-vote effort was credited with helping George W Bush defeat John Kerry.

This cycle, TV advertising gets all the attention. Ohio and Columbus are always at or near the top of TV ad spending. But despite all that TV money … organization could be the difference.

Ohio Democratic Party director, Kyle McDermott.

“With tens of millions of dollars on television, I believe and I think a lot of people would agree that what’s really going to make a difference in this election especially with those who have not made up their mind is the one on one conversation, that you have on the phone, you have on the door; neighbor talking to neighbor, family member talking to family member, community member talking to community member,” says McDermott.

And as early voting approaches in October, the outreach to help voters make up their minds will intensify.. So expect to get a few more phone calls… a few more knocks on your door.

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