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Tipsheet

More on the Mitt Machine

Following up on my previous post about how Mitt Romney won the Value Voters Straw Poll, I had a chance to talk with Romney conservative coalitions director
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Gary Marx.

Marx told me that the Romney campaign focused on internet voting, as opposed to in-person voting.  He explained that any smart campaign should focus on getting their supporters to vote early or by absentee ballot. 

The reason is simple: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, meaning that a potential voter who waits to vote on election day may get sick -- have a flat tire -- or just change their mind.   The bottom line is that it's wise to have your supporters vote early.  Romney accomplished this with the internet:  "We didn't care to focus on voting in person -- it was irrelevant to us," Marx told me.

Marx was not aware that FRC would distinguish between -- and report -- the numbers of voters who voted in person vs. the number who voted online. 
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Another reason the campaign focused on internet voting is that Romney's speech took place Friday night at 7:30 PM, but the Straw Poll closed at 6 PM.  "He's done very well in his evening speaking engagements," Marx told me. 

(My guess is that there's a better vibe at night, especially if the speech follows a reception.)

According to Marx, 1600 people attended the event and voted online.  As such, the perception that Huckabee dominated among people who attended the event, may not be accurate because a disproportionate number of Romney's supporters who attended had already voted on the internet.

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